As expected, former football standout Malcolm Perry was not commissioned as part of the Naval Academy commencement ceremonies held over the past couple weeks.
Perry, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, attended his assigned swearing-in event on May 20 but was not commissioned as a Marine Corps officer.
The Naval Academy conducted five private commissioning ceremonies over the span of 10 days with the senior class being divided into groups of 200. Sitting in socially distanced chairs set up in Tecumseh Court, the Class of 2020 graduates officially became Navy ensigns or Marine Corps second lieutenants. Perry, the record-setting starting quarterback on the Navy football team, graduated with his class and received a degree in quantitative economics.
However, the Tennessee native did not take the oath of office or sign the required paperwork to become a Marine Corps officer, according to Naval Academy public affairs officer Commander Alana Garas. Perry is hoping to become the first service academy athlete to benefit from a new Department of Defense policy that allows them to pursue professional sports immediately after graduation.
Esper’s order requires athletes under contract with a professional franchise to gain approval from the defense secretary. Individuals approved for the policy would not be commissioned as officers until their playing careers concluded.
Athletes allowed to pursue pro sports must eventually fulfill their five-year military obligation or repay the government the cost of their college education.
Perry, who received Marine Corps Ground as a service selection, has applied for the waiver to delay his military service while pursuing a career in the NFL. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound speedster became eligible for the new policy after being drafted by the Dolphins.