Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum will host 30 midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy Friday through Monday.
The midshipmen, all members in training and instructors of the Naval Academy’s Offshore Sail Training Squadron, will be sailing to Charleston from Annapolis, Md., as part of the squadron’s summer training program.
During their visit, the midshipmen will sleep aboard the World War II-era aircraft carrier Yorktown, where they will meet some of the veterans who preceded them in service and interact with visitors.
In addition, one of their boats, Navy 44, will be docked adjacent to the Yorktown at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina for public viewing all day Saturday and Sunday. The visit will give tourists to Patriots Point, particularly youth overnight campers, a chance to meet, interact with and learn from the future Navy leaders.
“These young men and women are the future leaders of the United States Navy, and they are outstanding role models for the youth of our nation,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette.
“In addition to setting an example for others, there is much the midshipmen can learn from the history we share every day at Patriots Point,” Burdette said. “I hope the midshipmen will be inspired by the courage and commitment of the men who served aboard the Yorktown and that they will carry these lessons with them throughout their military careers.”
Spiritline Cruises will offer the midshipmen a free visit to Fort Sumter on Saturday. That evening, they will hear from Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston during dinner.
The midshipmen are sailing from Annapolis on four 44-foot sail training vessels. They are participating in an offshore professional development program designed to provide experience in navigation, seamanship and small unit leadership responsibilities. This experience allows them to integrate skills learned at the academy during their first year of study. Some midshipmen return the following summers as either skippers or executive officers in the program, providing further command opportunities.