More than 2,000 NROTC midshipmen, Seaman-to-Admiral (STA-21) candidates, and Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) candidates participated in one-month long summer cruises to educate and train them on the fleet and their future roles as officers.
Third class midshipmen participated in Career Orientation and Training (CORTRAMID), a four-week course held each year in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego. CORTRAMID is designed to give NROTC students who have completed their first year of college a glimpse of the several different Naval communities available to them upon commissioning. Participants spend a week learning and training in surface warfare, aviation, submarines and the Marine Corps.
CORTRAMID West took place May 23 - June 22, while CORTRAMID East took place July 11- Aug. 10.
"CORTRAMID gives midshipmen an opportunity to see the fleet and help them decide which community they want to join," said Cmdr. Michael Bastian, CORTRAMID West executive officer. "It allows them to get out into the fleet and may be the only opportunity they have to see a particular community. This is (also) the fleet's opportunity to shape the ideas and attitudes of the future officer corps. It is great training and the midshipmen get a lot out of it."
The Midshipmen 2nd Class Summer Cruise occurs between sophomore and junior academic years. During this at-sea training, midshipmen are paired with an enlisted running mate on surface ships and submarines. Marine-option midshipmen participate in either Mountain Warfare Training in Bridgeport, Calif., or an amphibious surface cruise.
"The midshipmen learn the roles and jobs of the enlisted communities on the ships and submarines to better prepare them for their future leadership roles," said Lt. Maurice Mullen, officer development, summer training coordinator.
Specialized cruises are offered to first class midshipmen in every warfare community, to include aviation, surface, submarine, special warfare and special operations. Marine students attend "Bulldog" prior to their senior year of college, where they are assigned to Marine units for their summer training either at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., or Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N. C.
Midshipmen, who aspire to become Sea Air and Land officers, or SEALs, undergo a training regime similar to what they would experience as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) students.
Prior to attending Mini-BUD/S, midshipmen must pass a physical fitness test consisting of swimming, running, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
"As we left Mayport, (Fla.) and headed for the Atlantic, I was already actively involved on the bridge of the ship learning the conn and driving the ship. After being taught the proper standard commands in my NROTC class, I started to gain confidence and a sense of increased comfort controlling such a magnificent warship" said Midshipman 1st Class Thomas George, who attends the Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel, in Charleston, S. C., and is assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Dewert (FFG45) for summer cruise.
Nurse Corps midshipmen are assigned to medical staffs to gain experience in their career fields.
The NROTC program, overseen by Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
Mewbourne and his NSTC staff oversee 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy. This includes the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities; Officer Training Command (OTC) on Naval Station Newport, R.I.; Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp, at Great Lakes, Ill.; and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.