GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Fourteen newly enrolled midshipmen from the Chicago Consortium Navy ROTC program participated in their New Student Orientation (NSO) at Recruit Training Command on board Naval Station Great Lakes, Aug. 15-18.
The Navy ROTC Chicago Consortium consists of students from Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Chicago and Loyola University.
A consortium is made up of two or more Navy ROTC units from separate colleges or universities that are located within the same geographical proximity.
Each fall new students are welcomed to universities across America. Many of these new students participate in an orientation to learn the school and campus.
At more than 160 colleges and universities Navy ROTC midshipmen welcome new students looking to become officers in the Navy and Marine Corps. These students also go through an orientation to the unit and military called NSO.
"None of these kids come from active duty military families so we expose them to the military in one week," said Cmdr. Christopher Adams, commanding officer and professor of naval science at the Chicago Navy ROTC. "They get the one-week indoctrination to see what they are getting into before they take the oath. As they go through the program we will be looking at their character and competence before commissioning as Navy and Marine Corps officers"
Many college freshman students looked to join a Navy ROTC unit in the fall. Not all Navy ROTC midshipmen are on scholarship. They are known as college program midshipmen. These are students who have arrived at a university without scholarship but have signed up, or look to sign up, for Naval Science courses and would like to belong to a Navy ROTC unit. For many college programmers who desire a career as a naval officer, they can also apply for a Navy ROTC scholarship before their junior year.
There are several objectives that the NSO attempts to meet. Uniforms are issued and instruction in Navy uniform regulations and grooming standards are conducted. The new students are given instructions in basic military customs, courtesies and traditions. They are taught the organization of the Navy and of Navy commands, they are instructed in unit regulations and they are taught the chain of command for their unit and for the Navy all the way to the Commander in Chief.
The new students are instructed in basic military drill and ceremony. They must perform physical fitness and swim testing to determine readiness to meet Navy ROTC program and Navy/Marine Corps requirements. They are also instructed in privileges and in the benefits of participation in the Navy ROTC Program and what their individual responsibilities will be in the unit for the years with the unit.
One of the most important objectives taught throughout the week-long NSO is team work and how the Naval Services function as a team.
"The week caused a lot of personal self-reflection and especially with discipline," said Midshipman 4th Class Will Miller, a Loyola University freshman from O'Fallon, Missouri. "I learned that we need to work as a team and this will be something to work on in order to be a good leader."
The curriculum for the week of orientation included daily included physical training, weapons familiarization, close order drill, swim qualifications, confidence chamber exposure, and basic seamanship and classroom academics, including Navy and Marine Corps history.
"It was a very eye-opening week and made me take a different look at the military," said Midshipman 4th Class James Strevey, a University of Illinois -Chicago freshman from St. Louis, Missouri. "I feel these past few days have gotten me ready for what's to come as I face the challenge of getting a scholarship as a college programmer."
A staff of naval science instructors and Marine officer instructors led the orientation along with several midshipmen that volunteered their time to help train and lead the incoming freshmen. NSO at Great Lakes, where the Navy's only boot camp is, is of added value to the Chicago consortium, which provided an opportunity to be completed in a controlled military environment.
Navy ROTC 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.
Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), overseen by Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi supports 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC includes Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy ROTC program, Officer Training Command (OTC) at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, Navy Junior ROTC and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
For more information about Navy ROTC, visit www.nrotc.navy.mil.
More information about NSTC can be found by visiting www.netc.navy.mil/nstc or visiting the NSTC Facebook pages at www.facebook.com/NavalServiceTraining.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Service Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/greatlakes/.