News Release, US Naval Academy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The U.S. Naval Academy will celebrate the Navy’s 244th birthday Oct. 11-13. (The U.S. Navy’s birthday is Oct. 13.) The theme of this year’s celebration is “No Higher Honor,” in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the longest naval engagement in WWII.

The annual Navy birthday cake-cutting ceremony will take place during noon meal in King Hall at the Naval Academy Friday, Oct. 11. This ceremony is a long-standing tradition within the Brigade of Midshipmen, with the oldest and youngest midshipmen initiating the first cut. Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Tyler Courtney of Grand Junction, Colo., is the oldest, and Midshipman 4th Class (freshman) Langley Wooten of Thomasville, Ga., is the youngest. This event is closed to the public. Media seeking to cover this event should contact Naval Academy Public Affairs at or 410-293-2292.

The U.S. Naval Academy Band, conducted by Lt. Cmdr. Patrick K. Sweeten, will present a Navy Birthday concert at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature patriotic and military-themed music, celebrating the Navy and paying tribute to military family members. The concert is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is recommended, but walk-up guests will be admitted as space allows. To register in advance, please visit

The Naval Academy will host Jewish, Catholic and Protestant Navy birthday religious services. The following services are open to the public:

  • Shabbat service will be held Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:15 p.m. in Miller Chapel at the Commodore Uriah Levy Center. The guest speaker will be Dr. Marc Leepson, historian, journalist, and author of Saving Monticello.
  • A Catholic Mass will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at 9 a.m. in the Naval Academy Chapel. The guest speakers will be Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.
  • A Protestant service will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. in the Naval Academy Chapel. The guest speaker will be Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Brent Scott.
  • Following each of the services, receptions featuring the Superintendent’s Combo from the USNA Band will be held at the Naval Academy Club in the Midway and Coral Sea Rooms.

Visitors to the Naval Academy may enter through Gate 3 (Maryland Avenue) or Gate 1 (at the intersection of King George Street and Randall Street) and will be required to show a picture ID. All bags are subject to search. Drivers without a Department of Defense I.D. are not permitted on the Naval Academy grounds; however, handicapped visitors with proper decals are permitted after a vehicle inspection. 

For more information about the Naval Academy, visit or the Naval Academy’s Facebook page at

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...