United States Naval Academy Traditions

United States Naval Academy Traditions

Bill the Goat - United States Naval Academy Traditions

Stan and Joe love being a part of Annapolis. So, with the USNA’s Commissioning Week starting on May 20th and running until the 27th why not have some fun and explore some old time United States Naval Academy Traditions?

Herndon Monument Climb

An amazing site to behold, 1,000 eager plebes run screaming towards a 21-foot gray monument to see who can make it up first. Having to work together, only one can make it to the top to retrieve the white plebe “dixie cup” hat and replace it with an upperclassman hat. What makes the climb so difficult is that the upperclassman put more than 200 pounds of lard on the monument. The monument is dedicated to Commander William Lewis Herndon, who lost his life to save his ship and men.


First appearing in English around the 17th Century, the word midshipman was formed to designate those men who were stationed “amidships” meaning in the waist or middle portion of the a vessel. Between 1870 and 1902 the name of the Students had changed multiple times, it wasn’t until Congress brought back the original title of Midshipman, and it has remained unchanged ever since. Just don’t ever use the term Middie.

Bill the Goat

Believe it or not, the first mascot of the USNA was the Navy Monkey, because it was the favorite animal of U.S. Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, who established the United States Naval Academy in 1845. The first Bill the Goat did not appear until 1893 and has been reigning champion since then.

Who was Tecumseh?

If you’ve walked around the Yard at the Naval Academy, you have probably seen the bronze figurehead statue called Tecumseh. It has been there since 1866, known by other names like Powhatan, King Phillip, and Tecumseh. It was brought to the academy after being salvaged from the wreck of the old ship of the line “Delaware”. The builders of the ship had intended the figurehead to portray Tamanend, the great chief of the Delaware’s, a lover of peace and friend of William Penn. Every year around special occasions including commissioning week, it gets a fresh coat of war paint.

Well Known Graduates

Graduates of the academy include 4,000 admirals and generals, one president, 19 members of Congress, five governors, 73 Medal of Honor recipients and two Nobel Prize winners. Did you also know that Montel Williams graduated the Naval Academy in 1980?

So, while you’re out and about during commission week, make sure you stop by Stan and Joe’s for some good food and drinks. Our outside patio is now opened which gives you the perfect opportunity to see what’s happening around town.


37 West Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

173 Mitchells Chance Road
Edgewater, Maryland 21037

Get Social

Pick your Location (or both) and keep up-to-date with parties, parades and all the fun things we do - also know latest specials and discounts.



11 AM – 1:30 AM | MON. – FRI.
Happy Hour: 3 PM-7 PM

11 AM – 1:30 AM | SAT.
10 AM – 2:00 PM | SUN. BRUNCH
(Open until 1:30 AM)

11 AM – 12:00 AM | MON. – THU.
11 AM – 2:00 AM | FRI. – SAT.
Happy Hour: M-F 2 PM-7 PM

10AM – 2:00 PM | SUN. BRUNCH
(Open until 11:00 PM)

Email Army

Be the first to know about everything that's happening.

Sign Me Up Today

Music & Events

Pick your location and check out what great LIVE entertainment we have this week. Did we mention it is FREE?

Annapolis / West
Edgewater / South