The Naval Academy’s plebes complete the annual tradition of climbing a greased 21-foot granite obelisk to replace the first-year students’ hat with the traditional style of hat worn by the upper classes.
May 19, 2014 At the sound of a cannon blast at 1:30 p.m., 1,000 U.S. Naval Academy plebes rush to the Herndon Monument to start the climb in Annapolis, Md. They use their shirts to wipe off more than 200 pounds of grease smeared on the monument by upperclass midshipmen. The tradition is the culmination of their year and marks their readiness to leave the first-year plebe title behind. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post Buy Photo