Naperville native enters the Plebe Summer Class of 2025 at the US Naval Academy


Akshat Maheshwari, a graduate of Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, was inducted into the Naval Academy Class of 2025 on Wednesday, June 30 and will begin six challenging weeks of Basic Midshipman training as part of Plebe Summer.

Approximately 1,200 applicants are selected each year for the “plebe” class or first year of the Academy, and each student is required to participate in Plebe Summer. Last year, the Naval Academy received more than 16,000 applications for the 2025 class.

During this time, the plebs have no access to television, movies, the Internet or music, and restricted access to cell phones. They are only allowed to make three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer.

Plebe Summer’s pressure and thoroughness are carefully crafted to help the plebs prepare for their first academic year at the Naval Academy and the four years of challenge ahead.

As the summer progresses, new midshipmen quickly learn basic skills in seamanship, navigation, damage control, sailing and handling yard patrol boats. Plebes also learns infantry drills and how to shoot 9mm pistols and M-16 rifles.

Other daily workouts involve moral, mental, physical or professional development and team building skills. Activities include swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing, obstacle courses, endurance and confidence classes designed to develop physical, mental and team building skills. Forty hours are devoted to the instruction of infantry exercises and five official parades.

Founded in 1845, the US Naval Academy is today a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing all states of the United States and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen.

US News and World Reports recognized the Naval Academy as one of the top five undergraduate engineering schools and one of the top 20 liberal arts colleges. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, exercise, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law.

Upon graduation, aspirants earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different major subjects and continue to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the US Navy or the US Marine Corps.

The Brigade of Midshipmen is made up of approximately 4,400 students from all states of the Union and a handful of international students. Each year, approximately 1,200 young men and women are admitted into the entering class of the Naval Academy.