Ambassador Sandhu meets officers of Indian descent at US Naval Academy

Washington, Feb 5 (PTI) India's Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu met a group of officers of Indian descent serving in the US Navy during a rare visit to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, describing them as a "firm anchor" of India-US ties.

There are a number of Indian-origin midshipmen at the Naval Academy, the second oldest of the five US service academies.

"It was a delight to meet young officers of Indian descent at the US Naval Academy, proudly serving in the US Navy. A firm anchor of India US ties," Sandhu tweeted along with pictures of him interacting with the officers.

The ambassador held discussions with Superintendent Vice Admiral Sean Buck and had an interaction with some of the midshipmen of Indian descent on Friday.

Established on October 10, 1845, under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, the Naval Academy educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

The entire campus (known to insiders as "the Yard") is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings, and monuments.

It replaced Philadelphia Naval Asylum, in Philadelphia, that served as the first United States Naval Academy from 1838 to 1845, when the Naval Academy was formed in Annapolis, Maryland's capital city.

Candidates for admission generally must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a member of Congress. Students are officers-in-training with the rank of midshipman. Tuition for midshipmen is fully funded by the Navy in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation.

Approximately 1,200 "plebes" (an abbreviation of the Ancient Roman word plebeian) enter the academy each summer for the rigorous Plebe Summer. About 1,000 midshipmen graduate.

Graduates are either commissioned as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine 2 | Naval Attache, Washington DC Corps, but a small number can also be cross-commissioned as officers in other US services, and the services of allied nations.