Eighty-seven students from the U.S. Naval Academy will experience President Barack Obama's inauguration firsthand by marching in the in 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade on Jan. 21.
“We are honored to be invited to participate in such an important event," Midshipman 1st Class Ryan Hagelin said. "I'm personally very excited to march in the parade.”
Hagelin is a New York native who commands the 24th Company, which the academy chose out of its 30 student companies to march in the parade. The school chose his company because it's the color company—meaning it's recognized by the academy for having superior academic, athletic and military professional performance.
“As a company, we have practiced several times in order to prepare," Hagelin said. "This is one of many experiences that make the Naval Academy a truly special place to develop into a leader."
Obama will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 21 on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, and the parade will start at 2:30 p.m. The midshipmen, along with representative from all branches of the armed forces, will follow the president and vice president as they walk a 1.5-mile route from the Capitol to the White House.
The U.S. military has provided ceremonial support of presidential inaugurations since George Washington’s first inauguration in 1789 as a way of honoring the new commander and chief. This year's academy color company has students from 29 states.
The University of Maryland's marching band is also slated to march in the parade.
For more information about the inauguration itself, click here.