Yarmouth native enters class of 2027 plebe summer at U.S. Naval Academy
Steve Fulton, a graduate of Yarmouth High School, will be inducted into the Naval Academy Class of 2027 on June 29, marking the beginning of six challenging weeks of basic midshipman training.
About 1,200 candidates are selected each year for the Academy’s “plebe,” or freshman, class, with each student required to participate in Plebe Summer. During this time, plebes have no access to television, movies, the internet or music and restricted access to cellphones. They are only permitted to make three calls during the six-week intensive training.
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 accumulate basic skills in seamanship, navigation, damage control, sailing and handling yard patrol craft. Plebes also learn infantry drill and how to shoot 9mm 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 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. In 2022, U.S. News and World Report rated the Naval Academy as the No. 1 public school, No. 4 undergraduate engineering school and No. 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 ccience degree in a choice of 26 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
The Brigade of Midshipmen is comprised of about 4,400 students from all 50 states and a handful of international countries.

Maine Army National Guard announces summer community outreach projects
The Maine Army National Guard will be involved in six community outreach projects of various sizes for the 2023 annual training season in June.
Officially termed Innovative Readiness Training, or IRTs, the projects have long been a staple in the Maine National Guard’s annual training repertoire, particularly for engineering and transportation units. The federal IRT program allows for active, reserve and National Guard units to pair their mission essential task training with community needs, resulting not only in increased unit readiness but also improved local communities.
“We can construct training buildings in our armories, run our own haul mission scenarios, but that’s not always the best option,” said Brig. Gen. Dean Preston, commander of the Maine Army National Guard. “IRTs are unique in that they offer a tremendous two for one: training for future federal missions while meeting a community need. In many cases, we have soldiers that live or work near where we do these projects, which is great because they can remember that experience not just for the training they received, but for how they were able to impact their community.”
Five site development missions are expected to be completed in June by units under the 133rd Engineer Battalion.
A sixth project, a series of haul missions by the 1136th Transportation Company, is already underway. The 1136th spent their March drill period conducting haul missions for the Bureau of Parks and Lands, delivering firewood from two central locations to various state parks in anticipation of the tourist season. More deliveries are planned in June.
Previous IRT projects include reconstructing sea walls and building rehabilitation on Kittery’s Wood Island, a multipurpose sports field at Raymond Elementary School, cabin rehabilitation for Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, and many more.

President of Maine College of Health Professions awarded Patriot Award
Maine Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Monika Bissell, president of Maine College of Health Professions, has received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.
The award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. Maine ESGR is particularly proud to present MCHP with the Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees and students serving in our nation’s Reserve forces.
Bissell was nominated for the Patriot Award by Alexander Clifford, of the Maine Army National Guard, 120th Regional Support Group, who noted that Bissell, her faculty and staff at Maine College of Health Professions have consistently, willingly and with a sense of American patriotism supported not only his military service but also the military service of the dozens of National Guard and Reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who become students.

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