Midshipman Jay R. Linder was commissioned a Navy ensign today after proving he could do seven pull-ups -- one more than the number required for graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy here. Linder, 22, managed only five in May, and 1,032 of his classmates graduated without him.
Linder, who had injured a shoulder last October, was forced to postpone his marriage plans -- midshipmen are not allowed to marry -- and undergo a month of physical therapy. The 6-foot-2-inch, 195-pound midshipman performed his sweaty task Monday before an academy physical education instructor. Rear Adm. Charles R. Larson, the academy's superintendent, handed Linder his diploma and administered the oath of office in a private ceremony this afternoon.
"He was in good shape," academy spokesman Cmdr. Kendell Pease said. " . . . He's not a fat slob. He just had a shoulder problem."
Linder, a Los Angeles native, had threatened to take legal action earlier this year when the academy's academic board recommended that he be denied his commission and be ordered to spend four years as an enlisted man to pay back his academy education. But at a rehearing, the board gave Linder six weeks to get in shape.
Linder is scheduled to report Aug. 5 to the Surface Warfare Officers School in San Diego. He will become an officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation in January. He plans to be married in the Naval Academy Chapel on July 18.