Some would call a bunch of dudes on a high-protein diet half-nakedly climbing a greased-up monument a strange, but fascinating turn on. The United States Naval Academy, however, refers to it as tradition.

Every year, all the freshman guys (or “Plebes” as they’re referred as) from the training school in Annapolis, Maryland get together and climb the lard-covered Herndon monument. A Plebian sailor hat sits at the top and must be replaced with an officer’s hat, which symbolizes the journey out of freshman land and closer to becoming someone of value to the Navy… or something of that nature.

Anyway, all that matters is the fact that they perform this grueling task shirtless, probably ’cause it sucks getting lard all over their tees. The results of this “tradition” are truly — sigh! — spectacular to behold.