Special to Iredell Free News
Lake Norman High School graduate Chase Dixon was inducted into the Naval Academy Class of 2027 on June 29, marking the beginning of six challenging weeks of basic midshipman training during Plebe Summer.
Dixon is the son of Celine and Kirt Dixon. After living in South Africa and Germany, Dixon and his family now reside in Mooresville. While at Lake Norman High School, he was captain of the rugby team, president of Crosby Scholars, skipper of the sailing team, saxophone lead in the Wind Ensemble and founder of the Teen Giving Circle.
Approximately 1,200 candidates are selected each year for the Academy’s “plebe” or freshman class, and each student is required to participate in Plebe Summer. During this time, plebes have no access to television, movies, the internet, or music and restricted access to cell phones. They are only permitted to make three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer.
The pressure and rigor of Plebe Summer are carefully designed to help plebes prepare for their first academic year at the Naval Academy and the four years of challenges that await them. As the summer progresses, the new midshipmen rapidly assimilate basic skills in seamanship, navigation, damage control, sailing, and handling yard patrol craft. Plebes also learn infantry drills and how to shoot 9 mm pistols and M-16 rifles.
Other daily training sessions involve moral, mental, physical, and professional development and team-building skills. Activities include swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing, and obstacle, endurance, and confidence courses designed to develop physical, mental, and team-building skills. Forty hours are devoted to the instruction of infantry drills and five formal parades.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen.