SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A group of Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen from universities across the U.S. were exposed to the surface warfare environment during a day cruise aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), May 31.
This underway is an excellent opportunity to help guide the midshipmen in their decision making process when choosing a career path and showcase the excitement of becoming a surface warfare officer.
"The surface warfare community is so large and there are so many aspects to it, and this gives them a taste of little bit of everything," said Lt. j.g. Christina Leyton, Antiterrorism Officer. "They will have the opportunity to tour our combat center, tour our bridge and see how we stand watch among many other aspects of the surface warfare life."
Midshipmen are required to state their intent of interest in a naval warfare community upon commissioning, as required by the NROTC program. This underway gave them real world experience to help them make that decision.
"So far I have had a really great experience," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Frank DiBartolomeo from Albion, N.Y. "I was really leaning towards the subs, but after this underway it gives me a better idea of the adventure the surface warfare side can offer."
During the five-hour underway, the midshipman engaged in live fire exercises on the .50 caliber machine gun and 9mm pistol. They also experienced ship evolutions from the bridge, dressing out in full firefighting gear, sea and anchor detail and some even got a taste of galley food for the first time.
"I didn't know a lot about the Navy and the different communities when I first started the NROTC program," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Noelle Schumacker from San Ramon, Calif. "You hear things from various people about what it's like, but actually getting the opportunity to get underway and experience it first hand is invaluable. It helps me make an informed decision on how I can best contribute to the Navy."
This is just the beginning of many more of these moments to come for this group of future naval officers. They will continue with these opportunities throughout the duration of the NROTC program, and it will help mold them into the naval officers who will lead the fleet of the future.
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