USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Midshipmen from various universities across the country participated in a 24-day visit on board the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to give them a firsthand look at daily life on a Navy carrier.
The visit serves as part of their Summer Service Orientation Program during which midshipmen visit a variety of commands, including aviation, surface and Marine Corps units in an effort to help them decide their future career path.
"The purpose of the visit is for the midshipmen to experience daily life on an aircraft carrier and see what the crew does on both the enlisted and officer side of the house," said Lt. Cmdr. Eduardo Salazar, Truman's midshipmen training coordinator.
Salazar said that he volunteered to be the midshipmen training coordinator because as a Naval Academy graduate, he knows what the midshipmen training program has to offer.
"It gives the second and third classes, or juniors and sophomores, a chance to interact with the enlisted personnel, said Salazar. "It offers the first classes, or seniors, a chance to see what the junior officers' roles are and serves as their last chance to interact with people in the fleet before they graduate."
"It is really good to get this experience," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Harry Merickel. "At the Naval Academy, even though we are with Navy and Marine Corps officers all the time, this cruise is really the first time I get to experience any part of the fleet."
"Not only does this program help the midshipmen develop their officer skills it also helps them determine what they want to do when they get out into the fleet," said Salazar. "Truman has people on board from just about every warfare community for them to interact with to make a more informed decision."
"I want to go into aviation," said Merickel. "So the highlight for me was watching the F-18 launches and recoveries."
Salazar said the program benefits the Navy because it ultimately helps future leaders gain valuable fleet experience while still in school, insight they can take with them long after they graduate.
"Having an enlisted running mate, I hope to take from this experience a better understanding of daily operations on board a carrier," said Merickel. "When I get commissioned and become an officer, I know that part of my job is to help enlisted personnel do their jobs."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.