Answered By: Adam Minakowski
Last Updated: Aug 02, 2023     Views: 579

There are a few resources we have here that can assist in researching our alumni.

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag, the Naval Academy's yearbook, began publication in 1894, and has been digitized up through 1970. While these focus mainly on the graduating seniors, they do contain photographs of all four classes, so even students who did not graduate would be included in the book for those years they were here.,

Prior to the publication of the Lucky Bag, the role of the yearbook at the Naval Academy was played largely by class photograph albums. These albums consist of portraits of individual midshipmen, as well as occasional photographs of Naval Academy faculty, buildings, and grounds and span from the Class of 1860 through the Class of 1902.

Annual Register

The Naval Academy's Annual Register was a record of the academic standing of every enrolled midshipman and generally also contains an overview of the curriculum at the time, admissions regulations, names of faculty and staff, and other specifics. It has also been digitized through 1970 when its publication ceased. The Annual Register includes all midshipmen, not just graduating seniors, so individuals will appear in multiple volumes.

Personnel Jackets

In 1902, the academy began assembling a personnel jacket, which typically included a signed oath of office, personal data sheet, and conduct record, for each midshipman. It may also have included other admissions and academic records. Prior to 1902, the academy recorded this type of information in various rolls, logs, and registers. 

These records are considered part of the midshipman's Official Military Personnel File, and as an affiliate of the National Archives and Records Administration, we follow its policy of restricting access to these records for 62 years after the midshipman leaves service. During those 62 years, the records can be accessed only by the midshipman who submits a Privacy Act Request. If the midshipman is deceased, the next of kin may submit a Privacy Act Request for the records. (For a comprehensive listing of who qualifies as next of kin, please see the National Archives' page on Official Military Personnel Files.)

Contact Special Collections & Archives' staff for scans of personnel jackets of midshipmen who are beyond the 62 years since their separation from the service.

Alumni Jackets

These are files created by the academy's Alumni Association and transferred to the archives. The files are of association members or notable alumni, so not all alumni have a file. They typically include requests to join the association and records of dues payments but may also contain bio sheets, newspaper clippings, obituaries, and casualty reports.

All materials requested are subject to our reproduction policy, including fees, detailed on our website.

Other Military Personnel Records

The rest of a midshipman's military service records are held by the National Archives' National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. The National Archives provides extensive information on accessing these records on its website.