PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed with 28 midshipmen for three weeks of training and living life at sea, June 26.
While aboard the George Washington, these aspiring officers, who come from the U.S. Naval Academy and various Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) units throughout the United States, will train in specific areas that will prepare them for leadership roles in their chosen fields.
"I want to work on a nuclear submarine," said Midshipman 1st Class Christian Tan, from San Jose, Calif., and a student at the University of California, San Diego. "I hope to gain insight and knowledge on how to be a good division officer, what their role is and how they help the department. That's why I joined the Navy, to do a unique job that I can feel passionate about."
Junior officers (JO) begin their careers juggling many different roles. The 1st class midshipmen will spend their three weeks shadowing a JO as they get a first-hand look at what to expect as an ensign.
"I'll be busy while I'm here," said Midshipman 1st Class Chelsea Smith, from Sasebo, Japan, and a cadet from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. "As an ensign, I'll work on qualifications, manage my department as a [division officer] and stand watch."
While 1st class midshipmen experience life as a JO, 2nd and 3rd class midshipmen will join the enlisted crew to learn what their life is like aboard a carrier with the help of a petty officer 2nd or 3rd class running mate.
"My running mate [Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Harrison Stoll, from Mission Viejo, Calif.] is outstanding," said Midshipman 2nd Class Brian Lasely, from Fredericktown, Mo., and a student at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. "He has fully immersed me into his lifestyle. I also enjoy speaking to the enlisted crewmembers to get a feel for what they want in their officers, and what they like and don't like."
As midshipmen 3rd class, these young students will transition from a familiar college life to a 24-hour work environment on a busy ship.
"I hope to gain an appreciation for enlisted life," said Midshipman 3rd Class Ruben Diaz, from Uncasville, Conn., and a student at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla. "I want to get a view of what enlisted go through so that when I do become their leader, I can relate to them and better lead them."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
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