USS WASP, At Sea (NNS) -- The commander of Carrier Strike Group 10 addressed members of the wardroom, including approximately 60 midshipmen aboard amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) June 21.
Rear Adm. Herman Shelanski embarked Wasp to participate in 1812 Fleet Exercise, or FleetEx, a weeklong, multinational exercise designed to increase interoperability with allied nations. Wasp, in particular, is part of the exercise to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
While on board, Shelanski spoke to midshipmen about the history of the War of 1812 and its relevance in today's Navy.
"I think it's important to know our history," said Midshipman 2nd Class Shane Roche, from George Washington University. "It unifies us as a team, also giving us a sense of pride as Sailors. It is also important to know characteristics of leaders who have gone before us, so we can emulate them and learn from their mistakes."
Shelanski also opened the floor for the midshipmen to ask questions. They asked him questions that ranged from the future of the Navy to how to manage the Navy and family life. Shelanski offered advice to midshipmen on how to become a well-rounded leader.
"Volunteer for everything," said Shelanski. "You may not be comfortable with some of the things that your leaders ask you to do, but this will bring you out of your comfort zone. This will make you a better officer because you'll know how to persevere through any situation."
According to Lt. Cmdr. Ronald Williams, Wasp's command training officer, midshipmen are embarked on Wasp as part of their summer cruise conducting additional training. This gives them an opportunity to experience different jobs, so when they are commissioned, they have the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about what warfare area they want to work in.
"Partnering a midshipman with a highly motivated junior officer or a petty officer will establish the basic groundwork to become a better leader of tomorrow," said Williams.
The midshipmen's summer cruise will last for 23 days. Each midshipman is placed into different divisions of the ship, giving them a better understanding of what it is like out in the fleet.
"Being on board Wasp has let me see the life of enlisted people and how much work they do on a daily basis," said Midshipman Third Class Latina Perry, from Savannah State University. "It has also shown me how I can be a better leader, and how to better interact with people that I am and will be in charge of."
The midshipmen will depart shortly after Wasp is pierside in Boston. Wasp will be in port from June 28 through July 6 for the annual Fleet Week Boston Celebration.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.