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Most Diverse Class of Plebes Enters Naval Academy

The U.S. Naval Academy earlier this month swore in its most racially diverse class ever. The 1,230 men and women in the “plebe” class of 2013 were also part of the most diverse pool of applicants in the academy’s history. Inductees were given uniforms, medical examinations and their military haircuts earlier this month, and then they took an oath of office and began six weeks of rigorous transformation.

The academy has seen an increase in the number of African-American students, from about 6 percent to 10 percent for the incoming class. The number of Hispanic students is more than 14 percent in the incoming class, up from more than 10 percent the year before.

However, increased diversity has not come without critics. Professor Bruce Fleming told The Washington Post regarding minority students meeting admissions standards, “First of all, we’re dumbing down the Naval Academy. Second of all, we’re dumbing down the officer corps.”

U.S. Naval Academy Academic Dean and Provost William Miller rebutted the argument by saying, “This class we inducted yesterday may be the most talented overall that we have ever brought into the Naval Academy. We have increased the standards, rather than dumbing them down.”

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