Naval Academy plebes complete Herndon Monument Climb

Posted at 6:43 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 19:15:34-04

The Herndon Monument climb is the last official duty the class of 2020 will complete together. 

It's a tradition that started in the 1950s. The monumental task comes at the end of a very tough year for the plebes. 

The Herndon Monument is 21 feet tall and coated with 50 pounds of lard. The idea is to remove the "Dixie cup" hat and replace it with an upperclassmen's hat. The class of 1998 took the longest to finish the feat - 4:05:17. 

Tradition says the plebe who places the upperclassmen's hat will be the first to become an admiral in their class, but that has yet to happen. 

Although the class of 2020 gave it an heroic effort, they did not set the record. The class of 1972 still holds the record of 1 hour and 30 minutes, but they completed the challenge on a monument that wasn't greased.