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Letter: The difference between midshipmen and cadets

The difference between midshipmen and cadets

A modest correction to the delightful article last Sunday written by Jeanne McGovern.

The story on Megan Hanson referred to her as a “Naval Cadet.”

Wrong term!

Students at the Naval Academy are called “midshipmen” (both male and female).

That is an ancient rank in the naval service, deriving from the British and adopted by the Americans.

Prior to establishment of a Naval Academy (modeled after the Army at West Point) students for the Navy officer corps were trained at sea.

This was a practice of the British for some centuries which we continued upon independence.

The term follows from berthing spaces aboard ship where officers were aft, the crew was forward, and the students were housed “mid-ship.”

Under any title, however, Megan is a super representative of our community, as Jeanne duly reported!

James DeFrancia

Aspen


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