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When graduating midshipmen choose the destroyer they want to be on, it's like the NFL draft

Posted: 10:32 PM, Jan 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-26 11:15:49-05

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland —On Thursday night, graduating midshipmen picked their ship assignments.

More than 250 midshipmen who chose to be on a ship became Navy surface warfare officers upon graduation. In five months, the men and women will be officers in charge of others but, the only thing they're in charge of is having a good time.

It was like the NFL draft night but, unlike the NFL draft where a team picks you, each midshipmen first class gets to pick what ship they want. In the NFL, some teams have better records than others. Here, every one of these "teams" is undefeated.

They get to pick by class merit, and they pick their walk-up music; the first up with the best grades was Mathew Vogel.

Midshipman Vogel chose the USS Porter, a destroyer based in Rota Spain.

One by one the excitement continues. Like the NFL, they get recruited. Commanders of ships from around the world try to get the best of the best to choose their ship.

The commander of the USS Carney gave midshipman Josh Ten Eyck a sword and a hat for picking his destroyer.

"I was very surprised. People coming around me and handing me a sword. It was pretty awesome," Ten Eyck said.

For the four years the midshipmen are in Maryland they're told where to go, what time to get there and what to do when they get there. On Thursday, they got to make their own decisions.

Anne Fisher chose to be on the USS Carney based in Rota Spain.

"It's very nice to finally be a little bit control of my life and definitely culminating," Fisher said.

"You actually get one say what in you are doing with your future, you can't beat that. It's great," Ten Eyck said.

Rachel Labuda will go to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

"It means the world. It's like the culmination of everything at the Naval Academy," she said.