The upper classmen of the 17th Company in 1976 had already previous scored high in academics but the class of 1979 needed to improve. I called the plebes into the wardroom when I took command. I reviewed the past historical reputation of the honor of being assigned to the 17th Company. At that time we had a young plebe playing Varsity football named Phillip McConkey (some may recognize him who caught the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl - New York Giants) who stood up and asked why we (his fellow plebes) could not be spooned (accelerated to be recognized as upperclassmen, giving them slack, call us by their first names). I responded that what was good enough for me was good enough for him (and his classmates) and because of this their present performance was not satisfactory; they were ordered to “brace up” until June Week.
The Brace was a form of punishment at Annapolis in 1976. The ideal brace should create approximately 13 wrinkles in the chin and neckline. At the conclusion of the meeting with the plebes of the class of 1979, the 17th company plebes marched out into the center of the hall back to their rooms being braced up until June week. I remember my former roommate Ron Ellis as he gazed upon the plebes leaving the wardroom, “I don’t know what they did, but they really pissed him off.” All plebes for the next three months were under an academic curfew. I remember as plebes in 1972-1973 we were told to tie up an upperclassman, shave his head, and then throw him into the Chesapeake Bay.
Thinking back upon this event I was lucky that I was not hog-tied and thrown into the Chesapeake Bay. No one questioned my intent or my orders from my peers. I guess I had shared this goal and vision with my old roommate Ron during the previous three years. John (Assistant Commander or Executive Officer) knew I was serious and believed that we could win once again. It was part of the 17th Company mindset embedded in us for four years. There was no thought given to failing or not giving every effort. There was mandatory study hall for all members of the 17th company from 7 PM to 11 PM during the third set. I monitored our academic progress during the three.......
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Dr. Jordan B smith jr.
I attended the U. S. Naval Academy from 1972-1976 earning a B.S. in Mathematics. Served 20 years both active and reserve in the US Marines. Veteran of the Desert Shield/Storm. I earned a MAED and Ed D. specializing in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2015. I graduated from CBC High School in Clayton, MO in 1972.