32 Glorious Pictures Of Shirtless Navy Freshmen Climbing A Lard-Covered Pole

Witness America in all its greased-up glory.

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For the culturally unaware... The Herndon Climb is an annual tradition at the Annapolis Naval Academy in which members of the freshmen class, AKA "plebes," climb a lard-covered monument to retrieve the Plebe 'dixie cup' hat and replace it with an upperclassmen's hat, marking the end of wearing freshman headgear and moving up to headgear more like a U.S. Naval officer.

But really, it's just about getting nearly naked and climbing a wet, greasy pole. For America.

And, for good measure, here's a few shots from last year's climb...