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Protocol and Etiquette Instruction at the United States Naval Academy

midshipman life podcast Apr 14, 2020

Protocol Advisor to the Commandant of Midshipmen and Brigade Social Director

Angela Bailey once attended Ring Dance, and was impressed by the etiquette and manners of the Midshipmen. Her date informed her that Etiquette and Protocol is a part of a Midshipman’s curriculum all four years, and that they had an instructor for it all. Angela, having received formal etiquette training herself, remarked that it would be an interesting job to have, and now, years later, she’s doing exactly that. 

Angela is now the Protocol Advisor to the Commandant of Midshipmen and Social Instructor to the Brigade of Midshipmen. 

Etiquette and Protocol at the USNA

So what exactly are etiquette and protocol? Why are they things that matter among life and death military training?

Grant—your Academy Insider—and Angela discuss that and more in this latest edition of the Academy Insider podcast #032. 

Angela shares, when you are a Midshipman, you are an “ambassador of the United States, and of the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Navy once you’re in the fleet.”

“At the end of the day, [etiquette] is about putting others ahead of yourself.”

There are military protocols that Angela and similar advisors know, such as the proper order for dignitaries to be seated on stage at an event, or how flags must be situated. 

Plebe Training

Plebes-to-be can look forward to one “very fancy, sit down dinner” during the first set of Plebe Summer training, which is the first opportunity that Angela will have to instruct the newest midshipmen. Later in the summer, Angela gets the plebes ready to meet their new sponsor families by teaching them sponsor etiquette.

From then on, Angela meets with each class of midshipmen once a semester for the rest of their time at the Academy. 

There are many more key learnings and insight into this unique aspect of the Academy, that only Angela can share. 

Be sure to listen to Angela Bailey on the Academy Insider Podcast below, or wherever you subscribe to podcasts such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify


Thank you to Jordan Orris of the Academy Insider team for her contributions on this post!

Grant is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy class of 2017. He is also the founder of Academy Insider. You may reach out to Grant with questions at [email protected].  

To learn more about the Naval Academy through the perspective of a midshipman/recent graduate - subscribe to his podcast the Academy Insider Podcast with Grant Vermeer on Apple Podcasts, Google Play MusicStitcher and Spotify.


Academy Insider is not affiliated with the United States Naval Academy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the United States Navy or the Department of Defense.