The beginning of the yearly schedule at the Hellenic Naval Academy coincides with the beginning of the academic year in mid-September every year. There is one slight differentiation which concerns only first year cadets. After the Ministry for National Education has formally announced the results—that is, the number of the successful candidates who have passed the Entrance Examinations—the candidates are invited to enlist at the Hellenic Naval Academy and then they undergo basic military training which lasts on average from three to four weeks. When the candidates have completed their basic training and taken the Pledge of Allegiance, they officially join the ranks of the Navy as first-year Naval Cadets.
The winter training period lasts from September to June and is divided into two terms. Each term consists of thirteen weeks of academic education and is concluded with a three-week examination period.
During each term besides the academic education, the Naval Cadets also receive naval education and military training. This is achieved through the participation of the Naval Cadets in training cruises aboard Fleet ships and sailing ships, through training with simulators, by executing firing and also by taking part in parades, ceremonies, etc During the second term, the Naval Cadets attend a one-week program of further naval training, which consists of educational visits to bodies and units of the Greek Navy, to important industrial units and sights (Naval Museum, the Acropolis, the Floating Averof Museum, etc.), attending lectures on historical, defense and of general interest issues, as well as holding athletic events at the Hellenic Naval Academy.
The summer training period lasts two months, from July to August, and includes the Summer Training Cruise (STC) of the Naval Cadets. The Summer Training Cruise takes place every summer and lasts approximately 40-45 days. Generally, half the time is spent underway and the other half is spent abroad at foreign ports, mostly European ones.
During the whole year, the Cadets are entitled tο four long-lasting leaves. One during Christmas and New Year’s Day for two weeks, another at Easter for about one week and two leaves before and after the Summer Training Cruise, which usually consist of ten days each.
On weekdays the naval Cadets execute the daily programme and leave the Academy from Friday afternoons to Sunday evenings, depending on their conduct, penalties and overall performance. Especially, the cadets who are distinguished for their performance leave the Academy on Wednesdays after the end of the lessons until late evening. Those cadets who remain in the Academy try to improve their performance in the subjects they have fallen behind.
Moreover, during the week and even at certain weekends various activities are scheduled such as training with navigation simulators, training trips aboard Fleet ships and on board the sailing ships of the Academy.
On weekdays the programme of Naval Cadets starts very early when they all wake up at 06:20 in order to follow a morning workout. Then the Cadets prepare themselves for the day and after breakfast, they have classes which start at 08:00. After the end of the lessons at 13:20, they have lunch and then free time either to rest for about two hours in order to be in shape to do various individual and team sports at the facilities of the Academy or to be aboard vessels in order to do naval sports. Their occupation with athletic activities lasts until 17:20. In the evening the Cadets study their lessons and do their assignments for about three hours, have dinner and free time in between in order to watch TV, listen to music, play table games, etc. Finally, at 22:30 after a really demanding day, they rest for the night.
During the days off and the weekends the programme is more flexible with more free time and sports activities while, if is seen fit, there are even visiting hours for those cadets who have not been granted permission to leave the Academy for a long period of time.
The athletic facilities (court, race ground, indoor gym and swimming pool) and the infrastructure that the Academy provides, enable the naval cadets to do any sport they are interested in on a daily basis. Some of the sports the cadets can do are gymnastics (both free style and with apparatuses), track sports, navy obstacle course, swimming, sailing triangular course and high-sea sailing, rowing, shooting, fencing, basketball, volleyball, tennis. Moreover, they can learn and perform traditional dances.
It goes without saying that the Academy attaches great importance to sea sports. The indoor swimming pool, sailing ships, rowing boats, the three high-sea sailing ships and the daily close contact with the sea enable the naval cadets to live moving and thrilling experiences. The teams of the Hellenic Naval Academy not only participate in the yearly games held by the Armed forces but also in the national sailing races.
The Naval Cadets are often given the chance to escape from the pressure of naval, academic and military training in the Academy’s recreation centre by listening to music, watching TV, playing table tennis, reading in the library and doing a lot of other activities. Especially in June the Cadets organize their yearly prom to which popular music groups and artists are invited in order to entertain the guests.
Naval Academy Cadets actively participate as part of their military training in parades and contingents, demonstration squads and exercises done by armed and unarmed cadets. On the national holidays of the 25th March and 28th October a contingent of Naval Cadets is at the forefront of the body that represents the Hellenic Navy in the big military parades in Athens and Thessaloniki respectively.
The four-year academic education and naval training of the Naval Cadets is a period in their life which is characterized by social activity even beyond the Academy’s premises. Visits to archaeological sites and museums, to industrial and research facilities, attendance at concerts and other cultural events, sending delegations to attend events held by other Military Academies in Greece and abroad are part of the broader education of the cadets and enable them at the same time to let steam off by relieving them of the pressure and the workload of their academic and naval education.
During the winter term lectures are given and speeches are made related to scientific, military, social and of general interest issues aiming at the broadening and deepening of the cadets’ knowledge. Distinguished guest speakers are invited to give lectures and make speeches while in recent years the cadets themselves make oral presentations of their assignments before their fellow cadets. This initiative aims at developing the presentation skills and the ability to put forward arguments, elements and ideas of the prospective naval officers, who are put to test by a particularly strict and demanding audience—that of their fellow cadets.