USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) began phase one of its Midshipman Summer Cruise Training Program May 25, and will host a total of three phases before the program concludes, Aug. 15.
Nine midshipmen, representing Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) programs from the University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of Mississippi and The Citadel, are aboard Enterprise for their summer cruise.
The program is designed to give future naval officers the opportunity to increase their knowledge and operational experiences in the fleet, according to Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Amanda Ward, one of the lead program coordinators.
"I hope to just learn the little things that make a good leader," said Midshipman 2nd Class Gabriel Pogliano, from the University of Michigan. "[In NROTC] we get a lot of information about how a junior officer is supposed to lead, but it has been great seeing how the petty officers lead the Sailors under them."
During their stay aboard Enterprise, midshipmen shadow an assigned mentor through daily operations and rotate through departments and receive specialized instruction, such as etiquette training.
The training department, which is in charge of the program, works with multiple departments to set up a training schedule
Midshipmen stand conning officer watch on the bridge during replenishments-at-sea, attend navigation briefs and department head meetings, learn celestial navigation, experience helicopter operations, fast-roping and rappelling and actively participate in multiple other shipboard evolutions and watches.
"The training department is a great team. All personnel have had an active role in ensuring the Midshipman Summer Cruise Training Program is a success," said Ward. "Preparing for the midshipmen, welcoming them aboard and monitoring their daily schedule has been a team effort."
"I hope to gain from this experience an appreciation for a Sailor's work and daily life," said Midshipman 2nd Class Christian Merkel, from the University of Michigan. "As a division officer, I hope this experience will help me to better understand the lives of those working for me and allow me to lead them more effectively."
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Copeland, Enterprise's training officer, expressed his sentiments about their visit.
"It has really been great interacting with the Navy's future leaders," said Copeland. "I am confident in their ability to lead and manage. This group of high quality individuals has impressed me with their motivation, spirit and intelligence."
Enterprise is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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