Special to Iredell Free News

Statesville Christian School graduate John Paul Shadroui was inducted into the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2027 on Thursday, marking the beginning of six challenging weeks of basic midshipman training during Plebe Summer.

John Paul Shadroui

Shadroui is the son of Alexandra and Mike Shadroui. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 609 and played basketball, soccer and tennis.

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 is carefully designed to help plebes prepare for their first academic year at the Naval Academy and the four years of challenge that awaits 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 drill 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 drill and five formal parades.

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen 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. In 2022, U.S. News and World Reports rated the Naval Academy as the #1 public school, #4 undergraduate engineering school, and #6 national liberal arts college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 26 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

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