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Parent Preparation for Plebe Summer

plebe summer May 04, 2020
Parent Prep for Plebe Summer

Parents Should Prepare for Plebe Summer Too

Parents for the Class of 2028, your future plebes will likely be working hard to prepare for plebe summer because the USNA journey is different than most.

Parents should be thinking about navigating their journey at the United States Naval Academy too. 

I have one brother and one sister.  My older brother Kyle attended Stanford just minutes from our house and my younger sister Paige went to the east coast as well to play basketball at Yale.

While my parents feel connected to Stanford and Yale, I think the parent experience when sending your child to a service academy is unique. 

I know for my parents, Annapolis brought higher highs and lower lows. 

If you didn’t attend the Naval Academy (and even if you did), it can be hard to understand how to best support your Midshipman. 

While the mission of Academy Insider is to guide, serve, and support you through the Naval Academy journey, I want to offer some other resources I highly recommend outside of the official Naval Academy organization to prepare you for the journey you share in having a Midshipman at the academy.


The official information from the United States Naval Academy is what you should rely on for the BEST information.  Don’t take my advice, a parent on a parent page or your second cousin who graduated in the late 70s over what you or your Midshipman is being told by the leadership of the Naval Academy. 


Grant's Recommendations

  1. Your Local USNA Parents Group 

For my parents, the Nor Cal Parents group was a huge resource for them as one of their board members at the time, Bill Tauskey, spent a lot of time with my parents as I was one miserable plebe.

Since starting Academy Insider, I met so many wonderful people that make up the USNA Parents Clubs around the country.  Many have had me speak at their events and are always there to support the parents in their area.

Lori Coogan at the United States Naval Academy Alumni Associated has spearheaded an incredible parent outreach & engagement arm that provides an incredible service.  If your club has not already reached out or you don’t know where to find them, you may go to the Alumni Association website and find them on the map with contact information for them.

Join and get involved with your parents club!

  1. A USNA Mom’s Journal

This book by AN Shine is a well written book filled with great advice and guidance from an informed and empathetic USNA mom who is paying it forward.


There are many useful tips, up-to-date information and advice to help you navigate the unique journey that is USNA. From appointment through Commissioning and beyond, there will be valuable information and insight for everyone, even for military families not familiar with USNA. This is a must read for all new and not-so-new parents alike.

It should be USNA parent standard issue.

3. Parent Facebook Pages

Whether it is the USNA MID MOMS!!! (and DADS!) page, the Blind Leading the Blind (BLB) Facebook pages, or any other Facebook group, these resources can provide a great sense of community.  Every family's experience will be different and there is no "right" way to experience the Naval Academy, but you will likely find at least one other person who is expressing a similar sentiment to you in these groups.

Patty Lutton, Julie Haller, AN Shine, Karl Smith, and so many volunteers in the space provide so much value to new parents.  Take advantage of their experience and expertise!

I think it has value for parents in that it provides you a perspective of all the things your daughter or son is having to think about and prepare for.  I believe it will give you a foundation and perspective on plebe summer.

4. MyKidTheMid - Karl Smith

Karl Smith, author of "Anchored in Tradition" and the Blog "MyKidTheMid", also provides a radically transparent insight into his experience as the father of a Naval Academy Midshipman.


You can also listen to Karl talk about his experience as a Naval Academy parent in our episode on the Academy Insider Podcast!


In our conversations, we talk about what an amazing job the Naval Academy and Naval Academy community do investing in the parents of Midshipmen.  As a result, I highly encourage you to take advantage of all the resources that are available for you to educate yourself about the process!

 Good luck to all you USNA parents!


Founder of Academy Insider and Podcast Host Grant Vermeer 

Grant Vermeer is the founder of Academy Insider and the host of The Academy Insider podcast and the USNA Property Network Podcast. He was a recruited athlete which brought him to Annapolis where he was a four-year member of the varsity basketball team.

He was a cyber operations major and commissioned into the Cryptologic Warfare Community. He was stationed at Fort Meade and supported the Subsurface Direct Support mission.

He separated from the Navy in 2023 and now owns The Vermeer Group, a boutique residential real estate company that specializes in serving the United States Naval Academy community PCSing to California & Texas. 

Connect with Grant Vermeer, The Academy Insider here:


Academy Insider is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation and 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.