A Glimpse at Special Warfare

This week the Boston NROTC Consortium was lucky enough to be visited by three US Navy SEALs.  Here for much more than a small talk at lab for those interested, this opportunity was absolutely invaluable.  The three SEALs came and proctored a PST, which is the Physical Screening Test, for the SEAL candidates hoping to put together a package to send to the selection boards hoping to be selected for mini BUD/S.  For the rest of the MIDN not currently applying for mini BUD/S, it was an eye opening experience towards the process and the test itself.

For the candidates, their Tuesday started at the Case Pool at 0700 for a 500 yd swim, then they headed off to the BU Track and Tennis Center for the remainder of the test.  They continued with pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run to finish the morning off.  They then headed back to the BU unit offices for individual interviews with the SEAL/S.  A social was held later that day at Cornwall’s for anyone in the battalion that was interested in meeting them.  Thankfully, for those who were not able to make it to the social, the SEALs came and spoke at the Battalion lab the next morning.

LT Ize-Iyamu spoke on the training necessary and the path that SEAL candidates take on their 67 week journey to become US Navy SEALs.  Then, Senior Chief Newbold spoke on what it takes to be a SEAL and what the MIDN can do to be the best they can be in their respective communities in the Navy.  Captain Morrison, USN, Ret. spoke on the application process as well as how it was changing currently for those applying to BUD/S.  He also shared what he learned after 30 years of being on SEAL teams, leading SEAL teams, as well as boat crews, and imparted one piece to the MIDN which was reiterated multiple times.  “Do the best you can do.  Grow where you’re planted, and you will blossom.”  Before the SEALs departed, they spoke once more with the candidate on preparation for the PST in the future as well as answering any lingering questions.  The visit was highly appreciated, and valued even more, and for the interested MIDN, the opportunity was the beginning of a long road of arduous preparation.  For anyone else, it was a look at a highly popular, yet little known group of elitists.  Go Navy!

By MIDN Bourget

Sheehan Cup 2015

SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2015-The Sheehan Cup took place at Boston University this past Saturday. Teams from each of the university’s ROTC programs competed in athletic challenges during this tri-service event, despite the frigid weather.

The day started with swimming relays and the tire flip. Midshipmen dominated every category of the swim events. A valiant effort was put forth by the Air Force and Army teams.

The squad drill event was a close competition eventually won by Army. Army cadets also won first place in both the Ironman and the Ironwoman competitions. These grueling warrior challenges were composed of buddy carries, push ups, sit-ups, sprints, burpees, ammo can runs, and ammo can presses. All of the participants demonstrated exemplary strength and endurance throughout the event.

Maneuver Under Fire (MANUF) is a standard portion of the USMC Combat Fitness Test (CFT). MANUF consists of a 300-yard shuttle run with combat-related tasks including crawls, buddy carries, buddy drags, ammo can runs, agility running, and a grenade throw. The fastest time on this course was run by an Army cadet, while Marine options took second- and third-place finishes.

The final event of the day, which turned out to be perhaps the most competitive, was the tug-of-war. After several contentious rounds, Air Force cadets took first place.

Overall points were determined by team results in each event; three points were given for first place, two for second, and three for third. The Naval and USMC program won the overall competition for the first time, after a string of Army victories. . The BU NROTC Battallion looks forward to hosting this for years to come. we are thankful to all those who came out and competed and made this event great.

MIT Joint Service Ball

Midshipmen and cadets from all three branches of the MIT ROTC units came together on Friday, March 6, for the annual MIT Joint Service Ball at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After enjoying the reception that commenced at 1830, everyone filed into the ballroom and remained standing for the procession of the head table lead by Cadet Farrow. The procession included the commanding officers from the ROTC units, CAPT Steven Benke, LTC Peter Godfrin, and LtCol Karen Dillard. MIDN 3/C Huynh and MIDN 4/C Graves represented the Navy in the color guard detail. The evening then progressed with the National Anthem, invocation, and formal toasts.

The night of fun and celebration took a more somber tone when it was time to remember the POWs and MIAs who could not be there. We commemorated them with an empty table laid with the covers of each service and with the POW and MIA toast, led by MIDN 1/C Johnson.

The guest speaker of the night, Staff Sergeant Kevin Flike, a U.S. Army retired Green Beret, gave an inspirational speech that spoke to the value of never giving up on others or on yourself by sharing his own combat experience in Afghanistan. He told those in attendance that if you look back on your life with regret, you need to make changes going forward.

After SSG Flike’s passionate speech, the midshipmen and cadets of the class of 2015 were announced along with their service assignments. The 1/C midshipmen include MIDN 1/C Chen, MIDN 1/C Forsey, MIDN 1/C Humber, MIDN 1/C Johnson, MIDN 1/C Klatt, MIDN 1/C McCoy, MIDN 1/C Reytblat, and MIDN 1/C Saldivar. This was followed by the awarding of the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and the retiring of the colors. Everyone enjoyed the fabulous dinner and moved out on the dance floor at the conclusion of the ceremony. Ultimately, the Joint Service Ball was a great success—everyone enjoyed a night of food, dancing, and celebration with all three branches.

MIDN 4/C Anderson

JMS Opening Ceremony

29 Jan 2015

Cambridge, MA – The MIT Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unveiled its new high tech teaching lab at the Joint Military Simulator (JMS) opening ceremony. In addition to members of the MIT ROTC community, the ceremony was attended by Dean Dennis Freeman, Dean for Undergraduate Education, and Colonel (retired) William Cavanaugh, a member of the MIT Alumni Fund Committee. The JMS was made possible through a grant provided by the Department of Undergraduate Education and the Alumni Class Funds. Dean Freeman is pleased to support ROTC training and states, “The capabilities of this facility fit well with MIT’s vision of its future, as articulated by the recent Presidential Task Force on the Future of Education at MIT.”

The JMS will provide supplemental training to the ROTC curriculum and enhance the leadership and military skills training of future officers commissioned through the MIT ROTC program. Naval ROTC midshipmen and cadets from Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC will be able to train with software developed by the respective military services designed for ship handling, command and control, and small unit leadership and tactics. MIDN Faith Huynh, a sophomore Aerospace Engineering major at MIT, is excited to use the Mariner Skills Simulator (MSS) component of the lab and commented about the ceremony, “CAPT Benke and Dean Freeman’s opening words really highlighted the utility and opportunity that we are being given.” MSS creates a virtual ship handling environment for students that enhances maritime navigation and bridge resource management skills for future naval officers. The JMS is a joint effort between staff members of the Naval Science, Military Science, and Aerospace Studies departments and is located in building W59.

Joint Service Ball Winter 2015

On the evening of Saturday, Februrary 7th, members of the BU Navy, Army, and Air Force ROTC military branches gathered together for the annual Boston University Joint Service Ball. Distinguished guests included faculty from Boston University, such as Dr. Anna Hohler and Reverend Dr. Robert Allan Hill. The commanding officers from the ROTC units, CAPT Steven Benke, LTC Paul Whitmore, and MAJ James Mitchell, were also in attendance.
The event commenced at 1800 as midshipmen, cadets, officers, and enlisted personnel mingled and sampled the excellent appetizers during cocktail hour in the George Sherman Union. At 1930, the 1/C formed a receiving line into the Metcalf Ballroom to greet the officers and special guests. When everybody had taken their seats, the colors were posted and the master of ceremonies, cadet Andrew Irvine of AFROTC, began the toasts. At the end of the ceremony, the midshipman and cadets of the class of the 2015 were recognized. Applause and “hooyahs” filled the room as midshipman 2/C Ashley Potts introduced the senior midshipmen according to what community they will enter upon commissioning.  The 1/C midshipmen include: Andrew Bates, Karly Boettcher, Hannah Constantakis, Josh Dalva, Alexander Hayden, Braydon Hummeldorf, Paul Kim, Akshat Patel, Elizabeth Shaffer, and Sarah Verille. These exceptional midshipmen will commission in May as Ensigns in the Navy and 2nd Lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

While the occasion was certainly a joyous one, it also served to commemorate the dedicated POWs and MIAs who were unable to join in the celebration. We remember them not only with an empty table, but also with our commitment to serve as they did.
The evening progressed as dinner was served and dance moves were busted on the dance floor. Midshipman 3/C Kaminski says that it was a “fun-filled night of camaraderie between all of the ROTC branches.” All in all, the Joint Service Ball was a success and will be remembered by all as an evening of good food and even better company.
By MIDN 3/C Beryl Fisher

Fall 2014 Semester, BNCO Final Remarks


In our outdoor lab at the beginning of the semester, I outlined four aspects of my vision for the semester. These were mentorship, communication, community knowledge, and professional development. You’ve indicated that the formal program has been effective, but I can’t stress the importance of continuing to seek mentors in whatever area of life you find yourselves. Indeed, the seniors have already taken the next step toward their futures, but for the rest of you, make sure you are informed and prepared to make this life-changing decision when the time comes. Lastly, continue to maintain yourselves as professionals in every sense of the word.

Moving away from the formal side of things, I want to once again welcome and congratulate the 4/C on their first semester of NROTC. This is a huge commitment, and I have seen you all grow tremendously since you first walked through the hallways of Newport. Some of you have faced their fair share of difficulties already, but this is just the beginning. Keep on pushing, and do whatever it takes for you to excel. It will all pay off in the long run.

To the sophomores and juniors: you have either 1.5 – 2.5 years of ROTC and college experience under your belt. You’re growing ever closer to the fleet, and you will soon be facing leadership challenges in ROTC, if you haven’t already. These are all experiences that you’ll take with you to the fleet, and you will definitely learn from them and make mistakes along the way.

My fellow seniors: we have grown together for the past seven semesters, and I remember our first NS classes together with LT Sieg. I have never been so close with a group of friends as I am now with you. You will all make fine officers, and it has been my pleasure to lead and serve you. Thank you for all the advice you have given me along the way, as I will never forget out time together. Let’s make our last semester our best one yet.

Last, but definitely not least, I want to give special recognition to everyone on Battalion Staff. The job you all do is thankless, and you have seen that first hand this semester. But now, I want to thank each one of you for all of the work that you’ve put forth. It is because of you that the MIDN Battalion has functioned as well as it has, and it is no small task to do what you do on top of everything else that you have accomplished in school this semester. Especially to my XO, Bridget McCoy, I know every Battalion Commander says this, but I truly mean it: without you, none of this would have been possible this semester. You made my job infinitely easier, and I know you’ll end up doing great things wherever you go.

I wish MIDN Forsey, the SP15 Battalion Commander, all the best, and congratulate him once again on his achievement. Before I do that, I want to thank you all again for your hard work and dedication this semester. Good luck on finals and enjoy winter break!


A.F. Hayden

PNS Corner Fall 2014

Sea Dawg – PNS Corner – Fall 2014

Greetings from Boston!

We recently had our final lab for the fall 2014 semester.  It is hard to believe that the semester is already coming to an end.  The lab was dedicated to our Battalion Change of Command ceremony where MIDN 1/C Hayden turned over command of the Battalion to MIDN 1/C Forsey.  MIDN Hayden did an excellent job at developing a training plan for the semester that focused on developing military leaders.  He was supported by a great battalion staff and could not have done it without the full support of the two company commanders, MIDN 1/C Chen (MIT Company) and MIDN 1/C Dambrauskas (BU Company).  Congratulations and Bravo Zulu to MIDN Hayden and the outgoing staff.

The fall semester was packed full of Battalion activities.  We started the semester off with our New Student Orientation where we spent a week down on Naval Station Newport.  Upper class Midshipmen planned and executed this indoctrination period and it was a huge success.  The large incoming class embraced the training opportunity and they have really hit the ground running this semester.  During the semester we have done several sporting competitions and held our annual NROTC Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball.  Be sure to keep checking our NROTC Sea Dawg Blog and official Facebook page for all the latest updates and pictures.

The Marine Option midshipmen have also been very active over the fall semester.  Led by MIDN 1/C Kim, the Marines completed two field exercises, one at Fort Devens and the other on Peddocks Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands. Through the Semper Fidelis Society, the Marines also held a successful Marine Corps Birthday Relay on the Esplanda.

MIDN Forsey and his staff are working hard to finalize the details of the training plan for the spring semester.  I have no doubt that it will be another full and exciting semester in Boston!  We already have some big events scheduled, including the Sheehan Warrior Challenge at BU and the Beaver Cup Sailing Regatta at MIT.  We also have our Joint Services Military Ball in the spring where we get together with the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets for a night of dinner and dancing.

Enjoy your winter break and we will see you next year at the start of the spring semester!

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

Welcome to the official blog of BU, BC, MIT, Harvard, Tufts, and Northeastern Naval ROTC. Thank you for your support! Please direct any questions to seadawgpao@gmail.com.


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