First year Naval Academy plebes begin the Herndon Monument to begin the traditional climb which marks the culmination of their first year, Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, May 22, 2012. The tradition, dating back to 1940, involves the entire plebe class working with each other to climb the obelisk covered in lard, remove the "dixie cup" hat at the top and replace it with an upperclassman's hat. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Photo by: ANDREW HARNIK

First year Naval Academy plebes begin the Herndon Monument to begin the traditional climb which marks the culmination of their first year, Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, May 22, 2012. The tradition, dating back to 1940, involves the entire plebe class working with each other to climb the obelisk covered in lard, remove the "dixie cup" hat at the top and replace it with an upperclassman's hat. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)