Moment US Naval Academy freshmen reach top of greasy Herndon Monument

Watch the moment members of the US Naval Academy’s first-year class complete the annual greased climb in Annapolis, Maryland.

Every year, freshmen - known as “plebes” - form a human pyramid to attempt to climb a 21-foot granite obelisk to replace a “dixie cup” hat with an upperclassman’s hat.

They work together to scale the Herndon Monument, named after US Navy Commander William Lewis Herndon, who “possessed the qualities of discipline, teamwork and courage.”

The rite of passage marks their graduation to Midshipmen 4th Class.