The Golden Star of Command
Thirty or forty smartly dressed midshipmen, each of them determined to become a serving officer in the US Navy, either resigns, suffers a nervous breakdown, or runs for his life before completing that first year as an Annapolis plebe.
Everything about the place drives young men and women to levels of stress and feelings of helplessness that have to be tackled and overcome. Most make it through, but some cannot. There’s nothing average, easy, or even normal about the way the Academy hammers home the lessons. It’s a program designed to develop those who can cope with the highest responsibilities of command, just as it says on the prospectus. There is nothing comparable in civilian life.
Not many US college ...