The Chief of Naval Operations recognized a need for structured sail training for Naval Academy midshipmen in 1979. The Naval Academy currently has 28 sailing craft for cruising and racing offshore, and another two dozen sail training craft are assigned to NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps) units. The sail training cruise has become a major option for the midshipman summer cruise.
Since 1981, the Director of Professional Development has been responsible for the Academy’s offshore sail training and the traditional plebe sailing indoctrination. The commanding officer of the Naval Station, Annapolis, as commodore of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, continues to be responsible for intercollegiate competition in sailboards, dinghies, and larger craft; local and offshore racing in larger yachts; and boat maintenance. The Athletic Department conducts intramural sailing competition.