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

Battalion,

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!

V/r,

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

Boston NROTC Celebrates Navy and Marine Corps Birthdays

DSC_2940 2The Boston Naval ROTC Consortium, comprised of Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Tufts University, came together to celebrate the Navy and Marine Corps birthdays on November 15th at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MA. The entire event was a success due to the efforts of MIDN 2/c Carolena Ruprecht and the midshipmen that assisted her.

The night began with cocktail hour on the 14th floor with a stunning view overlooking the Charles River and downtown Boston. From there, midshipmen, unit staff members, and guests moved downstairs to the Presidential Ballroom where the ceremony, dinner, and dancing would complete this special evening. The ceremony included the posting of the colors and sword detail, the description of the POW/MIA table, and the cutting of the birthday cake.  “I really enjoyed the ceremony – it was cool seeing the traditional aspect of the Navy birthday, and the whole event was put together very well,” said MIDN 4/c Catherine Senoyuit of Boston College.

DSC_2968 2The guest of honor was Colonel Todd Desgrosseilliers, former Commanding Officer of The Basic School and graduate of Boston University. Among the many accolades he has received in his years in the Marine Corps, Desgrosseilliers was awarded the Silver Star in 2006 for his heroic actions in Fallujah, Iraq.

His speech touched on many qualities a great leader should seek to possess but one that he focused on was genuine concern for the men and woman a person leads. Desgrosseilliers also discussed the importance of remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of freedom and justice. He told midshipmen to “stand on the shoulders” of fallen Sailors and Marines and to let their actions be the inspiration to be the best and workDSC_2922 2 hard in every aspect of the job. One Marine that stood out in his mind was Lance Corporal Colin Wolfe, a 19 year old who was killed by a road side bomb in Iraq in 2006. Desgrosseilliers wanted to put a face to the idea of honoring the fallen and said he often thinks Wolfe and his family. Desgrosseilliers concluded his speech with a reading of the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which brings him comfort and inspiration in times of trouble.

The 2014 Birthday Ball is an event the entire Consortium looks forward to every year. This year’s ball was a fun evening for all who attended and the Consortium was fortunate to have Desgrosseilliers as the guest speaker to share his wisdom with future Navy and Marine Corps officers.

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Written by MIDN 2/c Katrina Longest

Semper Fi Society Completes FEX II on Peddock’s Island

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As the boat neared the shore, the previously talkative midshipmen grew silent, unconsciously gripping their rifles tighter as they mentally prepared for the night ahead. Once the boat docked, it was time to move—midshipmen grabbed their packs and hurried onto dry land, trying to get their bearings in the unknown environment as they formed two columns and stepped off into the darkness.

The second field exercise of the year for the Semper Fidelis Society took place Nov. 7-8 on Peddock’s Island, located in Boston Harbor about a 30 minute boat ride from the city. Abandoned military facilities are spread across the northern half of the island, as it was used for harbor defense in the early 20th century. This was the first time SFS had used Peddock’s Island for a FEX, so while the new location presented unique challenges it was a refreshing change from Fort Devens.

The night started out with tent setup at the bivouac site. Unlike previous field exercises, the bivouac process was not disrupted by ambushes from the cadre, so it went very smoothly. Next came the biggest physical challenge of the weekend: the nine mile hike. Early on in the hike, the cadre ambushed the society and Platoon Sergeant Frayne became a “casualty”; however, 1st Squad Leader Hamilton took charge and handled the situation. Due to the small size of the island, the hike route looped around the same path several times, causing the whole experience to start to feel like a particularly intense episode of déjà vu after the fifth time hiking up the same hill. The varied terrain included hills, sand, and broken ground, presenting obstacles for the midshipmen burdened by 50-65 lb packs—several people were forced 10806251_832933546770009_3608459940969865249_nto drop out, testimony to the difficulty of the hike. However, after being taken care of by the corpsman, they rejoined the group and everyone finished the hike together.

Following the hike, the midshipmen spent two hours working on their night land navigation skills, using a compass to navigate to different points in the woods. Finally, around 0150 they returned to the bivouac site for a much needed few hours of sleep outside under the stars. Tent pairs took turns standing watch, rotating until reveille at 0530. In the chilly predawn darkness, the midshipmen quickly packed up the tents and gear and moved it to the dock, then practiced close-order drill as the sun rose.

Then came the final training evolution of the weekend: squad in the offensive, or SITO. This was specifically aimed at the bulldogs, who each assumed the role of squad leader for two missions and were evaluated on their performance. Missions varied from basic assaults on an objective to security patrols to casualty evacuations. The cadre made sure to keep things interesting by ambushing the squad periodically, including an attack from a moving vehicle. Quick reactions and decisions were key as bulldogs faced the challenge of managing the entire squad. The 3/c also had the opportunity to step up during SITO, acting as fire team leaders for several missions and getting practice in briefing five paragraph orders.

After four hours of SITO, the midshipmen were pleased to find that the final mission took them to a barbecue prepared by the staff, which was a significant improvement over MREs. The society then conducted a hot wash to discuss the FEX and lessons learned, and finally boarded the boat to return to Boston. On the boat ride home, the midshipmen who didn’t immediately fall asleep were treated to a demonstration by the corpsman on how to apply a tourniquet. Finally, they returned to Ashford Supply to clean rifles and return gear. Tired and sore, but feeling accomplished, the members of SFS departed for home, confident that the weekend had been a success in terms of gaining both valuable training and new Facebook profile pictures.10517487_832932843436746_904680712345975196_n

Written by Midn 2/c Pushaw

Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Tufts University

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, the Tufts University ROTC units came together on the Medford/Somerville campus to pay tribute to all service members past and present. The traditional passing of the flag ceremony was held on Memorial Steps lead by 1/c Midshipman Vadim Reyblat. Cadets and midshipmen alike proceeded gradually up the steps passing a folded American flag to one another to the flag recipient, retired United States Air Force Major Greg Arabian who graduated from Tufts University in 1954. The ceremony included a performance from the oldest all female Tufts University a cappella group, the Jackson Jills, who did a wonderful rendition of “America the Beautiful”.ROTCadvocatesEvents 260

Service members that came to view the event include Commander Jan Scislowicz, Executive Officer of Boston NROTC, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Godfrin, head of Boston AROTC, and retired Army Major Gresh Lattimore who is the Chair of Advocates for Tufts ROTC. After the ceremony there was reception in the Coolidge room of Ballou Hall. The reception included speeches by Dean James M. Glaser who is a strong advocate for ROTC at Tufts University. The main speaker was retired United States Marine Corps Captain Ben Sands who graduated from Tufts University in 1954. His inspiring speech went through the highlights of his time in the military and the brave service men and women who he met along the way.

MIDN 4/c Keith Henzer said after the ceremony, “To be able to participate in this occasion really makes me appreciate the sacrifices American service members made for my freedom.” Army Cadet Gaby Luiselli said, “When I walked up the steps today, it was truly humbling and inspiring. I am honored to be here and a member of Army ROTC at Tufts University.”  The ceremony succeeded in paying tribute to all of our veterans.

Written by MIDN 2/c Oscar Martin

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