The anchorman is the midshipman who graduates lowest in his or her class by order of merit at the Naval Academy. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually an honor (albeit dubious), as the winner customarily passes his or her cover around the graduating class, all of whom traditionally put in a $1 or $5 bill. As a result, the anchorman makes around $1000 or $5000 for the right to receive their diploma last and flirt the closest with being separated and returned to the fleet as an enlisted sailor.
How does one become the anchorman?
- Get a Cumulative Quarterly Performance Ratio (CQPR) of 2.0. This is like getting a GPA of exactly 2.0 except that you can't get more than one D per semester and no failing marks for eight semesters. Also, there are no pass/fail classes. It's not easy to get good grades here, but it's harder to get mediocre grades and not get noticed by the administration
- Get the worst possible military performance mark possible. This means being ignored by your peers on your peer evaluation (which means they have to notice you doing the right thing as little as possible, but never directly catch you doing the wrong thing, as this leads to failing MPM ratings).
- Barely pass all of the physical fitness tests, but never fail any of them. This means that you need to be able to do exactly 45 pushups and 65 situps in two, two minute periods, and run a 10:30 mile and a half. Also, you need to practically drown on all of your swimming tests and get the tar beat out of you in the all of the hand to hand combat classes.
- Demonstrate complete ineptitude on all of your summer cruises and raise the ire of the Gunnery Sergeants who train you during Plebe Summer. But remember to always just barely get by and to accomplish your Personal Qualification Sheets just in the nick of time!
At this point you're probably saying "boy, that's hard!" It is. And in comparison to being the anchorman and making around five thousand dollars, you can make twice that for simply getting accepted into Naval Aviation, Surface Warfare or Submarine Warfare, of which 85% of the class achieves. As a result, it is not wise to aspire to be the anchorman because not only is the few thousand dollars a setback of sorts, it can very likely lead to your expulsion from the school for unsatisfactory marks.