USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- For the past few weeks, 19 midshipmen from the Naval Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs have been serving aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as part of their required, month-long summer cruise.
Since June 21, they have spent their time working with the ship's various departments and observing how Sailors keep a 98,000-ton, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier afloat and mission ready.
"They've done a pretty good job of getting us around. We've seen almost every department," said Midshipman 2nd Class Ryan Burke. "They set us up with running-mates from different departments. I have a yeoman, and I sit in his office, observe his job and watch how the ship operates on a daily basis."
THe visit allows midshipmen to become accustomed to shipboard life and gives them an opportunity to observe different jobs aboard.
"The main purpose of our summer cruise is not to work. It's to see what we want to do," said Midshipman 1st Class Ben Peter. "They don't want us to be in a job position that we hate and not perform."
Peter will start his senior year this fall and has been working with Truman's Combat Direction Center (CDC) during his time aboard Truman.
"It was pretty interesting how everyone works together, and they have to plot all these different things and know which is what," Peter said. "I thought that was cool because it's a lot of stress, but they handle it well."
Midshipmen generally complete two different summer cruises. Their first cruise comes before their junior year and is designed to show them the life of an enlisted Sailor.
"The guys that are on their second-class cruise, they're with the enlisted guys, so they will know what the enlisted lifestyle is like," Peter said.
The second midshipman cruise comes before their senior or first-class year and is designed to help them understand an officer's role aboard a ship.
"Before their senior year, they'll set them up with a chief or an officer," said Burke. "They're living in the state room, and they're eating in the ward room, and they're experiencing more of what they'll be doing out in the fleet."
Both Burke and Peter agreed that watching flight operations is one of the most exciting aspects of their underway with the Truman.
"I really enjoyed going up in the tower and watching flight operations," said Burke. "The shooters and the pilots aboard have been great about helping us out and talking to us."
After a one-month stay, the midshipmen will depart Truman upon her return to homeport.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.