SFS: Do you have what it takes to join our ranks?

904391_617411094988923_1660696258_oThe Semper Fidelis Society, known to the members of ROTC simply as SFS, will resume its training on September 4th, with Midshipman First Class Paul Kim as the Officer in Charge. Upon graduating from OCS this past summer, Midn Kim will return with a strict training plan to prepare and inspire the future officers of the United States Marine Corps. SFS is a program designed to ready Marine options for Officer Candidate School, a 6-week course at the end of junior year.  However, in addition to training Marine candidates, all those choosing the Navy pipeline will have a chance to expose themselves to the basics of what would be expected of him/her as a Bulldog at OCS and the fundamentals of how a Marine officer operates.

The Navy options that participate in the program are vital to helping the Marine options prepare for the hardships they will face while in Quantico, Virginia.  As a member of SFS, you will be asked to lead others as fire team and squad leaders, and pushing the Second Class Midshipmen, Frayne, Hamilton, Pushaw, and Schaffino, to their limits in their preparation. For some of you, this will be your first chance to lead. The future Naval and Marine officers will train together through a series of grueling workouts, field exercises, war games, hikes, and swim and rope PT. These are only a few things that make SFS different from the rest of the Battalion. The SFS experience will expand not only your physical capacity, but also your mental capacity through the training in which we receive. Instead of a four year journey, we ask that you devote yourself only for a semester to experience what we are all about.

This semester, the Society will unfortunately be short two senior OCS graduates in Midn 1/c Boettcher and Mr. Mariscal, a graduate of the Platoon Leaders Course (PLC), as they study abroad. Despite their absence, the Society is fortunate to have the guidance of Maj. Hritz, GySgt. Romer, SSgt. Askew, and 2nd Lt. Bryant. These men have acquired a vast knowledge base throughout their time in the Marine Corps to share with the Midshipmen and PLC Candidates. Ms. Johnson, also a PLC graduate, will provide challenging and engaging exercises as the Society’s Training Officer. As is a tenet of Marine Corps leadership, the Society will adapt and overcome, despite the absence of two crucial members.

As evidenced by its most recent class of OCS graduates, the Boston Semper Fidelis Society effectively prepares its members mentally and physically for the taxing challenges that OCS presents to the Officer Candidates. This year should be no different as the newest second class and PLC candidates prepare for their 6 weeks in Quantico, Va., third class step into leadership roles, and newest members receive their first introduction to the Marine Corps.

Written by Midn 3/c Tyler King, Midn 3/c Michael Murray

Holy Cross MEC

Warriors awoke at daybreak on the morning of September the 20th for an early 0450 muster. The task at hand was the Holy Cross Military Excellence Competition, the Olympiad of the New England Navy Battalions. Sailors and marines alike were not tired and weary from the little sleep the night had afforded them, but instead sharp and anxious for the competition ahead.

2014-09-20 08.27.31The force of forty strong departed under the new leadership of GySgt Askew, ENS Meucci, and of ENS McCormick. The three-van convoy arrived in an hour, and at 0630 the safety brief was communicated.

The first mission was the Warrior Challenge, bravely undertaken by two new 4/C, MIDN Cooper and MIDN Bourget. Both completed the task at hand—displaying the true physical might of the Boston Consortium.

On the other side of the field house from the Warrior’s Challenge athletes stood a table, a table lined with trophies for the many events. However notably one was missing—the illustrious magic Speedo—the symbol of New England dominance in the water, the trophy for the region’s best swimmers.

Alas! Our battalion had encountered its first tribulation— we had left the esteemed symbol at the MIT unit, where our victorious team last year had rightly stored it. The pressure was on: we needed another swimming victory, else be scorned for not bringing the esteemed and legendary swim trunks.

In order to command dominance over the swimscape, fourteen brave battalion athletes volunteered to relay.

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MIDN 3/c Koch, Midn 2/c Hamilton, MIDN 1/c Hummeldorf, MIDN 2/c Spata take first place in swimming.

The results were astonishing.

Those watching found out this day that the likes of MIDN Hummeldorf, Hamilton, Spata and Koch were in fact built from the same constituents of our most agile and advanced torpedoes. Lapping and greatly outpacing the competition, this team took home the gold for Boston, and saved the magic Speedo.

Not to be outshined by such incredible effort, another Boston team took a heated contest for third place.

Drill team also took third, the Iron Man and Iron Woman team’s both completed exhausting circuits, and one of our basketball teams made the semi-finals.

This year’s MEC was many things—fiery, frenzied and even funny, but the one thing it wasn’t was disappointing. Hoo-yah Boston Battalion. Hoo-yah. Sail on.

2014-09-20 08.40.21

Written by MIDN 2/c Jasper Burns

Farewell to Major Giorgis

Maj GiorgisThe conclusion of the spring semester of 2014 marked the end of Major Giorgis’ time as the Marine Officer Instructor for the Boston Naval ROTC Consortium. The Semper Fidelis Society and entire Battalion will be sure to miss Major Giorgis’ nurturing but always professional presence at PTs and labs. He served as MOI at the unit for three years. Prior to coming to the unit, the Major served as the Operations Officer for the 5th Battalion, 11th Marines. During that billet he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. He is currently studying at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, with his next billet unknown at this time.

Major Giorgis brought the background of a combat deployed artillery officer with an enthusiasm to educate the prospective Marine officers who made up his newest command. While Major Giorgis seized every opportunity to train and cultivate the midshipmen, he found the FEXs and Indoc to be the most effective times to develop leadership. He found these evolutions provided an extended block of time away from the distractions of college life and academics to truly focus on military training and education. But he emphasized that one did not need to be aboard a base or in the woods of Fort Devens to train themselves for being an officer. Major Giorgis always reinforced that there is an abundance of reading material available to foster officer development.

While the Major ensured that each Marine Options mind was stimulated for learning, he also facilitated a smart and effective training plan. He reinforced the importance of injury prevention, proper form, and high intensity in every PT. This was all part of the “tactical athlete” philosophy which he was an enthusiast of. He brought an NFL combine like testing evolution to the unit, putting a combat spin on the pre-draft activity. Participants ran through many of the same speed and agility tests, but instead of gym shorts and a t shirt, wore flak jackets and assault packs. This event highlighted Major Giorgis’ ability to create engaging, effective and original training for the midshipmen.

Last year’s OIC, 2ndLt. Brown, spoke very highly of her experience working closely with the MOI. Billet holders under Major Giorgis’ command were given “an environment in which they felt a strong sense of ownership…and had the latitude to present their own vision”. Major Giorgis practiced his own advice by delegating authority to his midshipmen, but still maintaining the final responsibility for their actions. Semester meetings with the Major were not merely a requirement that had to be met, but an opportunity for the Marine Options to get one on one time with a fantastic mentor. The Major also said he felt the one on one meetings with students was one of his most important duties as MOI. Major Giorgis always had a relevant and helpful piece of advice. His leadership teachings were unparalleled. When asked if he wished to leave the midshipmen with anything, he provided a reminder, that “there is no perfect model for a Naval officer. Find the leader in yourself—you can’t be someone else, and if you try to you won’t achieve your potential.”

Semper Fidelis, Major Giorgis.

Written by Midn 3/c Michael Murray

BnCO’s Opening Remarks


Firstly, I would like to welcome back those of us that are returning, and hope this will be another extraordinary semester for you. To the incoming 4/c, I would like to officially welcome you to the Boston NROTC Battalion.

alex headMy name is Alexander Hayden, and I am the Midshipman Battalion Commander for the upcoming semester. As a senior at Boston College, I am currently double majoring in Political Science and Islamic Civilization and Societies.

Naval ROTC is intended to be a training ground to develop midshipmen for their futures as officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.  The vision that I have for NROTC this semester comprehensively echoes that. Every action taken by the midshipmen staff – whether within the Battalion Staff, or at the platoon and squad levels – should reflect that, as well. Training will focus on the development of midshipmen as professionals in their journey to become Navy and Marine Corps officers. Being an officer entails being a professional, in every sense of the word. Whether that is though academic excellence, moral certitude, physical prowess, or social aptitude, being a well-rounded professional is something that I expect from each and every one of you.

Additionally, I would like to increase the focus that is given to imparting knowledge about the service communities. Excitingly, each of our respective commissioning dates grows ever closer. Yet, one of the most difficult choices each of us will face is determining our preferences on which community we seek to enter. Because this is the case, I will make it my priority to ensure that every MIDN in the Battalion receives increased, accurate information about each of the service communities so that they may make a more informed decision when the time comes. No matter if your future takes you on the seas, diving deep below them, flying high above them, or leading a group of Marines, you will understand more about what each community has to offer to you, and whether you are a good fit for it.

In my time, I have seen three classes receive their commissions and graduate. Each class has inspired and set an example for those that followed in their footsteps, and this year is no different. The role that upperclassmen play as mentors – whether formal or informal – is of utmost importance.  When welcoming the 4/c, set a superb example for them; encourage their successes, and constructively correct their shortcomings. In a few years, they will be in your shoes and performing the same tasks that you are now. But don’t forget that even as a 1/c, you can be a mentee; learn from your peers, and the active duty staff as well. One day, you will be in your shoes and performing the same tasks that they are now.

I wish you all the best this semester, and will be here to serve you in every capacity. Let’s work together to make this semester the best one yet.

Very respectfully,

Alexander F. Hayden

Boston NROTC Freshman Class Completes Orientation Week in Newport, RI

The incoming students of the Boston NROTC Consortium completed a week of orientation to introduce them to ROTC and prepare them for their next four years of training.  The Boston Naval ROTC Consortium is comprised of students from Boston University, Boston College, Northeaster University, MIT, Harvard, and Tufts.  The orientation was conducted at Naval Station Newport, which provided billeting and training facilities that are not available on campus and allowed students from all six consortium schools to come together in one location.

One of the main goals of the week was to familiarize the freshmen with Navy and Marine Corps traditions and give them the skills they will need

Throughout the week, the 4/c learned drill and rifle movements

Throughout the week, the 4/c learned drill and rifle movements

to succeed as a NROTC Midshipmen.  Some of the topics discussed included uniform preparation, Navy and Marine Corps rank structure, time management, study skills, and military customs and courtesies.  With the assistance of upper class midshipmen and the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor (AMOI), SSgt Carlos Askew, the freshmen also became proficient in close-order drill with rifles.

The 41 freshmen were split into two platoons of three squads each.  There was a feeling of competition between the platoons throughout orientation and all of their training and practice culminated with a final uniform inspection and drill competition.  The fourth class impressed the upper class midshipmen with the information they absorbed and demonstrated by the end of the week.

“You could see it in the way they wore their uniforms, marched together in unison, and took pride in the performance of their respective platoons  – they really took the principles we laid out for them throughout the week and implemented them into the way they carried themselves,” stated Indoc Staff Executive Officer Midn 2/c Nicholas Hamilton, Boston College.

MIDN work together to save the USS Buttercup, a wet trainer used to simulate a sinking ship

MIDN work together to save the USS Buttercup, a wet trainer used to simulate a sinking ship

While the majority of the week was spent in the classroom or on the field practicing drill, the fourth class also completed their first physical fitness evaluation, swim qualifications, and were given the chance to use two of the incredible facilities at Naval Station Newport – the USS Buttercup damage control trainer and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) bridge team simulator.  The USS Buttercup is a wet trainer that provided a realistic learning environment for the fourth class to develop teamwork and communication skills.  The LCS simulator gave the freshmen an idea of what it is like to be in the Surface Warfare community.

“I feel so much more comfortable going into ROTC now that I know the proper customs and courtesies, have my uniform squared away and already know some of the upperclassmen,” says MIDN 4/c Catherine Senoyuit of Boston College.  “I learned a lot about what it means to be in ROTC and to be a leader in the military.”

After the final drill competition, the fourth class midshipmen were given the fouled anchor pins for their Garrison covers.  This symbolic ceremony represented all the hard work and effort that had been put in to the week and marked the beginning of their four years in the NROTC program.  The freshmen will begin their first semester with the knowledge and confidence necessary to be successful midshipmen in the Boston Naval ROTC Battalion.

4/c midshipmen after their final drill competition and inspection

4/c midshipmen after their final drill competition and inspection

Written by MIDN 2/c Katrina Longest

PNS Corner

CaptainStevenMBenkeGreetings from Boston!

After a long and very cold winter, spring is finally here!  The days are getting longer and the trees and flowers are in full bloom, which is great for everyone except for those with seasonal allergies!  The Battalion Change of Command has occurred and I would like to take an opportunity to reflect on the past semester and look forward to the future.

The spring semester just flew by!  Battalion Commander MIDN Simpson and his staff, along with the help of MIDN Pederson (BU Company Commander), MIDN Philbin (MIT Company Commander), and MIDN Brown (Marine Platoon Commander), did an excellent job continuing to integrate the battalion.  One of the greatest accomplishments was the development and execution of the Midshipmen 4/C Professional Qualification Standards program.  Early in the semester we held Joint Services Balls on each side of the river.  Both were well done and a lot of fun.  At Boston University we hosted the Sheehan Cup athletic event and although the BU Army ROTC left with the trophy at the end of the morning, the midshipmen made it a very tight competition.  At MIT we hosted the Beaver Cup Regatta and teams from RPI and Holy Cross traveled for a chance to sail on the Charles River and win the Beaver Cup.  At the end of the cold and blustery day, MIT won the top overall score and the Beaver Cup stayed in Boston.

The fall semester is always great because we get to welcome a new class of midshipmen, but the spring semester is awesome because we get to commission the next generation of Navy and Marine Corps officers!  Our commissioning ceremonies are fast approaching.  We have a large senior class this year and will be commissioning over 30 officers.  If you are in the area, I highly recommend attending one of the four ceremonies we will be holding in the coming weeks.  I wish all the best to those new officers as they get ready to join the fleet.

After a well-deserved summer break, where most midshipmen will get to experience the fleet during a summer cruise, we will start a new semester with MIDN Hayden at the helm of the battalion.  Based on initial numbers, we can optimistically expect well over 40 new freshmen to enter the battalion in the fall.  MIDN Hayden and his staff will start the new school year with the challenge of freshmen orientation.  This year we will be conducting freshmen orientation prior to the start of the fall semester in Boston.  We will continue to refine the freshmen orientation experience to ensure our incoming students are prepared for transition to college life as an NROTC Midshipmen.

Enjoy your summer break and we will see you in the fall!

All the best,

Steven M. Benke

Captain, United States Navy

Commanding Officer

BU – MIT Naval ROTC Consortium

“For in this modern world, the instruments of warfare are not solely for waging war. Far more importantly, they are the means for controlling peace. Naval officers must therefore understand not only how to fight a war, but how to use the tremendous power which they operate to sustain a world of liberty and justice, without unleashing the powerful instruments of destruction and chaos that they have at their command.”

Admiral Arleigh Burke, CNO, 1 August 1961, Change of command address at Annapolis, MD

Tufts Pass In Review and Awards Ceremony

DSC_4939Midshipmen from various universities in the Cambridge area, including MIT, Harvard and Tufts, celebrated the conclusion of the spring 2014 semester with a Pass in Review (PIR) and Joint Service Awards Ceremony. The events were hosted by Tufts University at Ellis Oval and The Fletcher School’s ASEAN Auditorium.

The PIR ceremony is an opportunity for the midshipmen and cadets to be reviewed by their superior officers. The reviewing officers for this event were Lieutenant Colonel Adam Edwards, Professor of Military Leadership; Captain Steven Benke, Professor of Naval Science; and Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Weibel, Professor of Aerospace Studies.

Midshipmen and cadets marched onto the field where they stood in platoon formation. The color guard honored the flags as everyone rose for the national anthem. Then the leaders of each platoon were brought forward, followed by the soon-to-be-commissioned seniors. Army Cadet and graduating MIT senior Andrew Fijan led the ceremony, as the entire formation of midshipmen and cadets marched around the field, passing in front of the party of reviewing officers.

DSC_5004Midshipman 4th Class Vardaan Gurung reflects on the event, saying, “The Pass in Review was an inspirational display of military drill and discipline. It also did a fantastic job of recognizing the commissioning seniors. Best of luck to them in the fleet!”

During the ceremony, the seniors were brought forward and recognized by name and future service communities, as they will all be commissioning within the next two months. The MIT Navy ROTC program is proud to be commissioning eight ensigns: Mic Byrne, Brian Foley, Victoria McCrave, Tyler Mehrman, and Elliot Sykora from MIT; CJ Curtis and Catherine Philbin from Harvard; and Joshua Prince from Tufts, as well as one 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps: Catherine Brown from Harvard.

Midshipman 3rd Class Kira Schott said, “For the seniors’ last event in ROTC, and on such a beautiful day, it was great to see all the branches coming together. As an underclassman midshipman, I was inspired to hear about the futures that await each cadet and midshipmen, and to know that they’ll be carrying the tradition of excellence beyond the schools we represent.”


Tufts senior Joshua Prince receives an award

At the Joint Service Awards Ceremony following the Pass in Review, various organizations in the Boston area honored midshipmen and cadets who have demonstrated strong leadership, academic, and physical abilities. Lieutenant Colonel Edwards gave the welcoming remarks and Tufts University representative, Dean James M. Glaser, enthusiastically showed his support for the ROTC program.

“The ceremony went very well and it was great to see all the seniors one last time before their commissioning,” says Midshipman 4th Class Julia Rubin following the ceremony. “They have been great role models to us this semester and it has been a great honor to learn from them.”

Written by: MIDN 3/c Carolena Ruprecht



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