US Naval Academy Freshmen Complete Annual Herndon Monument Climb

The US Naval Academy’s Class of 2022 completed the annual Herndon monument climb on Monday, May 20.

The annual event sees freshmen form a human pyramid around the 21-foot granite obelisk, which is greased with vegetable shortening, butter, and oil for the occasion. They then try to replace an underclassman’s “dixie cup” hat with an upperclassman’s hat.

Fox 5 DC reporter Nick Smith posted footage of the latest attempt. According to Smith, Midshipman Christian Schwien was the lucky student to place the upperclassman’s hat.

The US Naval Academy said the class of 2022 completed the climb in one hour, five minutes and five seconds, the second-fastest time ever with the monument greased.

After successfully completing the climb, the freshmen are no longer called plebes but “fourth class midshipmen,” the Navy says. Credit: Nick Smith via Storyful