Sea Trials test Naval Academy plebes in grueling 14-hour obstacle course

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In a test of physical and mental strength, plebes challenged themselves during Sea Trials Tuesday in a daunting 14-hour obstacle course that marks the end of their first year at the Naval Academy. The training exercise is modeled after the Crucible by the Marine Corps and the Navy’s Battle Stations recruit program and includes a wide array of activities from shore defense to Spartan relay, paintball, land navigation, hill assault and water tactics, according to the Naval Academy.

Photos taken by Baltimore Sun photographer Kim Hairston.

For Naval Academy plebes, a grueling end to the year
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun
4:00 p.m. EDT, May 14, 2013

The wake-up call came at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, but Midshipman Alberto Salabarria was ready well before then.

Anticipating a grueling, thrilling, muddy day of the Sea Trials at the Naval Academy, Salabarria and some of his classmates couldn’t wait.
“Everyone was listening to music, trying to motivate themselves,” Salabarria said.

Staying motivated and upbeat is key to surviving Sea Trials, a 14-hour test of strength, endurance and will that marks the end of the freshman, or “plebe,” year at the Naval Academy.

Under the guidance of older midshipmen, plebes beat each other with padded sticks, crawled through muddy trenches under barbed wire, searched for a faux hostage at a water treatment plant and lifted logs as thick as telephone poles over their heads again and again.

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