Approximately 275 midshipmen in the Class of 2021 who will serve as surface warfare officers (SWOs) upon graduation and commissioning will choose their first ship and homeport during the annual Ship Selection Night, Thursday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
Midshipmen choose their ships based on their preferred type of naval vessel and where the ship is homeported. “Platform Night” and “Homeport Night” virtual information sessions were held in January in order for SWO selectees to learn more about their selection options. Midshipmen select their ship by their overall order of merit, and are permitted to choose only from the placards remaining on the board at the time they are called.
“Ship selection is a special event and an important first step in each future officer’s career in the surface warfare community,” said Deputy Commandant for Professional Development Capt. William Switzer. “All SWOs remember their first ship, as that experience sets the tone for the rest of your time in the Navy, and for the midshipmen selecting this year, it’s exciting to find out where that first experience will be.”
Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Joseph Wiedemann, 23, of Bethesda, Md., will make the first selection. Wiedemann is a physics major and hopes to select the America-class amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7).
“It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to be the next generation heading out to sea to be a part of the backbone of the Navy,” said Wiedemann. “The entire Class of 2021 has an enormous breadth of talent and leadership and I’m grateful to commission alongside such wonderful people.”
After graduation and commissioning, these midshipmen will report to their first ship and be in charge of any number of shipboard operations and activities while at sea. The event is typically open to other members of the brigade as well family and friends, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance is limited at this year’s event to SWO selectees and a limited number of invited guests from the Navy SWO community and USNA leadership.
This event will be livestreamed on the Naval Academy’s Facebook and Youtube channels. The official hashtag for the event is #ShipSelection.
For more information about the Naval Academy, visit their website or their Facebook page. Photos of the event will be available on the Academy’s Flickr page by Feb. 5.