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Attached are a series of accomplishments/details about a 1921 Naval Academy graduate. They are listed immediately below a brief biography:

usna accomplishments 1921

For Google's sake, they are:

Two Stripes;
Clean Sleeve;
Buzzard (2);
Class Football (2); Numerals (2);
Crew Squad (4);
Wrestling Squad (2);
Water-Polo Squad (1).

Some of the information is straightforward (e.g., sports participation) but the others require additional context I do not have (Two Stripes, Clean Sleeve, Buzzard and Numerals).

What did this person accomplish at the US Naval Academy that is worth detailing in their graduating yearbook?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

It looks as though a Clean Sleeve at a military academy is a form of negative evidence.

See ARMED FORCES: The Quiet Ones (Time, Monday, Aug. 29, 1960)

At West Point, he was a "Clean Sleeve" —neither scholar, nor athlete, nor class leader. "No one." says a classmate, "would have expected him to become the first general in his class, or any general at all, as far as that goes."

Read more:,9171,939168,00.html

The number of Stripes would indicate rank (or within Annapolis, the class for that year).

Two stripes would indicate he was a MIDN 2/C. (This would not equate to years of college as originally suggested {In civilian college terms, a Junior?} because officer cadets had rank within their year class as well as within the broader structure of the Navy.)

See the badges of rank illustrated at

In academic life ashore Numerals would have been called "Letters" and won for sports

Close attention is paid to athletic instruction and physical training, all kinds of indoor and outdoor sports being indulged in. To those who excel in the various events the traditional yellow
"N" and class numerals are awarded. The baseball and football schedules include a series of games with all nearby colleges, the culminating games being with the Military Academy.

from Military and Naval America Harrison Summers Kerrick, Doubleday, Page & Company (n.d.)

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Not that it is necessarily authoritative, but this page describes a "clean sleeve" as a cadet private: – fbrereto Dec 4 '12 at 17:51
While I know some military terminology is shared among branches, is it not also true that some terms differ in their definition from branch to branch? My concern is that an Army "clean sleeve" may not be the same as that in the Navy. – fbrereto Dec 4 '12 at 17:52
As to "Numerals" being analogous to Letters, that would make sense given that "Numerals" is on the same line as the football accolades. – fbrereto Dec 4 '12 at 17:53
As far as I know the yearbook from which this was taken was the person's graduating year, 1921. If that's the case I am not sure "Junior" is an appropriate parallel. From the picture that accompanies the biography the anchor collar device can be seen on his left side, so that would corroborate the Two Stripes rank. – fbrereto Dec 4 '12 at 17:59

The numbers in parenthesis can be indicative of the number of the year that the Cadet participated in the activity.
Buzzard (2) would equate to participation in "Buzzard" during year 2.
Class Football during year 2.
Numerals during year 2.
Crew Squad during year 4.
Wrestling Squad during year 2.
Water-Polo Squad during year 1.

An alternative would be the number of years that they participated. This can be confirmed or excluded, by looking at other entries.
If someone has Crew Squad (1,2) that would tend to confirm the suggestion.
Whereas, If all entries are a single digit, it might indicate the total number of years that the individual participated in the activity.

Vocabulary of Terms Used at the Naval Academy for the Benefit of Struggling Relatives and Others who Read Our Letters
Affiliate - Mild form of spooning
Ann - Annual examination
Bear a Hand - To hurry up
Belay - To cease anything, to fasten
Biff - To do a thing well
Bilge - To be dismissed or dropped
Bilger - A cadet dropped from the rolls especially one who returns in a lower class
Blue Jacket - An enlisted man
Bone - To study
Bones - Physiology and Hygiene
Bootlick (n) - A sycophant
Bootlick (v) - To toady
Boys Servants - never applied to a cadet
Brace (n) - To brace up is to stand erect To take a To endeavor to study
Brace (v) - To scrape acquaintance with or to ask an unseemly question of
Bust (n) - A failure
Bust (v) - To make a failure
Buzzard - The insignia of rank of a cadet petty officer, an eagle perched on an anchor
Chippy Crew - The second racing boat's crew
Christmas Tree - A list posted in December containing the names of cadets that are in danger of being dropped in various studies
Cit - A civilian
Cits - Civilian's clothes
Clean Sleever - First classman, line division, without rank
Cold - Hopeless; an extreme state of anything as to bust cold
Found this in Good ebooks:

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This seems to indicate that the numbers are showing what year the cadet was performing the activity. Since I found, such entries as Class Football Team (4,3) Naval Football Team (4,3,2,1)… – Frank LaPlante May 31 at 18:59

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