WASHINGTON -- Eighty-seven members of the Naval Academy's 24th Company will proudly march in the 57th Presidential Inaugural parade in Washington Jan. 21.
The 24th Company was chosen to participate in the parade due to its status as the Brigade's Color Company.
The Academy's Color Company competition is a tradition that began in 1867 and recognizes the superior performing company based on exceptional academic, athletic, and military professional performance. Thirty companies make up the Naval Academy's student body, which is referred to as the Brigade of Midshipmen.
Midshipmen representing 29 states will march in the parade with the 24th Company, which is led by Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Ryan Hagelin, 21, from Hamburg, N.Y.
"We are honored to be invited to participate in such an important event," said Hagelin, 24th Company commander "I'm personally very excited to march in the parade. As a company, we have practiced several times in order to prepare. This is one of many experiences that make the Naval Academy a truly special place to develop into a leader."
The U.S. military has provided ceremonial support of presidential inaugurations since George Washington's first inauguration in 1789. Military support during presidential inaugurations honors the new commander in chief and democracy.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today 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. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college.
Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects like small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, leadership, ethics and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a federally funded Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 23 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding serv ice as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.