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Brief Points: An Almanac for Parents and Friends of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen Paperback – June 1, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ross H. Mackenzie is the award-winning author or My Sailor Dad, a Navy pilot, and currently lives with his family in Florida. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press; 2 Sub edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557505845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557505842
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,963,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Brief Points" is a must-have for any military buff or relative of a Naval Academy student. A spin-off of the book "Reef Points" which is issued to every new plebe at the Naval Academy,"Brief Points" is a comprehensive guide to the wit and terminology that all Naval Academy midshipmen learn during their stay in The Yard. A soon to be a plebe myself (this week in fact), I gave this book to my parents to help them understand me when I begin talking in military lingo! This book is good for friends and family of any new Naval Academy midshipmen. Another book I recommend along with this one is "A Sense of Honor" by James Webb which gives readers a glimse into the life of a Naval Academy Plebe (Freshmen). There are no other books out there like these two that give readers a real life portrayal of the United States Naval Academy.
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I recently finished reading this book (in one sitting...it's not very long) and highly recommend it to prospective mids and their families. The book does an excellent job of explaining the intricacies of the academy which are hard to find from other sources. Details of uniforms, grading systems, career outlooks, organization and many other topics are covered. This book is very detailed though, it is in no way a story. It is purely facts about the academy, no personal experiences or opinions. I will be attending the academy as a mid soon and although I live in Annapolis and have talked to many mids, their was tons of info. in this book that i either did not know or was not clear on. There are very few pictures (only like 2) which is the reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5.
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Format: Paperback
As a contributor to Ross Mackenzie's newest edition of Brief Points, I can vouch for the accuracy of this guide for Parents and Friends of USNA Midshipmen. Ross has put countless hours into revising and updating this edition with all of the latest and most accurate information available from every possible source.
From the latest Internet resources to the detailed assistance of current Mids, Ross has compiled THE Definitive Resource for parents. The Glossary of USNA Terms is worth the purchase price alone. It has expanded to over 70 pages of definitions of "Midspeak" translated into easily understood "Mom and Dad" English.
Brief Points is a well written and expansive explanation of all things USNA... the traditions, the customs and the quirks of life as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.
This is a MUST READ for anyone interested in the today's Naval Academy.
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As a retired LtCol whose son is now at USNA and a Blue and Gold Officer, I have read a number of books concenring the Academy application process and the first year. This is one of the three key books for any parent whose son or daughter is interested in trying to attend the US Naval Academy. The second text is The Naval Academy Candidate Book: How to Prepare, How to Get In, How to Survive anf the third is Building a Midshipman. Theis text will help the family understand the Academy Application Process, terminology, and help you gain insight into the USNA culture. A must read for anyone interested in the Naval Academy.
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By Savant11 on February 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a great book on the technical aspects of the school and how it functions. While James Webb's "A Sense of Honor" and Sharon Hanley Disher's "First Class" may provide you with information on how life at the Academy and as a Midshipman affects you as a person. This book provides information on how the school functions and everyone's place in it. For example I knew that there were 36 companies but I did not know how they were broken down within the Brigade. The reason I am giving this four stars instead of five is due to the size of the book I was really expecting something much bigger. It would also have been nice if more pictures were included.
I would definetly get this book if you are a fan of "Navy" like I am.
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Format: Paperback
Brief Points is a play off Reef Points, the text all Mids are encouraged to memorize as Plebes, but aimed at parents--without the stress or drama. It's a good conglomeration of information, covers the high points of Mid life, in a concise and pithy manner. The best time to read it is during Plebe Summer, when you can't talk to your Mid and are desperate for any tidbit of what they're experiencing. Be forewarned though: It doesn't include any information on Plebe Summer--rather 104 pages of what academy life is all about. It includes sections on academics, physical education, military life, money (it's hard to accept Mids are paid to attend, but it's true) and career. The Pro Speak (another 73 pages) is fine, but few Mids will come home on leave spouting these acronyms and/or neologisms.

Overall, a good read which puts you in the spirit of USNA life and the military future your child has chosen.
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Although proud of our plebe offspring, parents are also quite nervous regarding the stress of a very difficult academic year. This book provides the necessary information that enables us to begin to understand what transpires at the Naval Academy. The only criticism is that, despite its contents, I wanted to know much more.
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