Midshipmen served as Constitution’s trainee officers. Often the sons of wealthy or powerful families, some were as young as 15. Their duties on board were to study, and write journals. As they learned, though, they also stood watches, and the oldest might even command a captured enemy ship. In front of seamen, midshipmen inspired respect by behaving like the officers they hoped to become. But here, in the cramped space they shared next to the wardroom, they could relax, and be loud and rowdy.