Marine Midshipmen Get Realistic Training During Overnight Field Exercise


By MIDN 4/C Savage, Photos by MIDN 3/C Zhu

Fort Devens, MA-The lights of suburban Massachusetts soon faded into the dark treetops of Fort Devens, and the Midshipmen (MIDN) of the Marine Platoon were ready to enter the field. The pilots of our two Blackhawks executed a series of steep banks, plunges, and high-altitude climbs before dropping us off at the insert point. As soon as we were inserted and the helicopters had exited over our heads, we traveled with our assault packs toward the bivouac site. The platoon sergeant, MIDN 2/C King, made sure to keep us moving with intensity in order to set up our tents and maintain accountability for the two squads of four fireteams that made up our platoon. However, we were not alone in the woods. Several Midshipmen disappeared behind the pine trees after the Cadre simulated attacks and “captured” several of them. Security teams had to keep watch and find the “missing” personnel so that the platoon could safely finish the bivouac evolution before starting the real challenges of the year’s first field exercise.

By this time, everyone was accustomed to the dark tactical environment, and we were ready to step off on our 6-mile hike with rifles in hand. The squad leaders, MIDN 2/C Murray and MIDN 2/C Noviello, were constantly checking on the status of their fireteams as the heavy packs began to weigh down on our feet several miles in. Even with the challenge, we continued to keep each other motivated as we tackled hills and progressed back to camp.


The cold Halloween air eventually crept up on us after we had stopped sweating from the hike, but there was one more evolution to complete before resting for the night. Land navigation was the next challenge, and the wooded terrain obscured with darkness did no favors for the Midshipmen. Armed with compasses, the seven pairs all made it back after two hours traversing the course from point to point. We had earned a few hours of sleep and watch rotations every 60 minutes until morning, but the platoon had completed a good amount of the training.


Soon enough, the tents came down, even faster than they had gone up, and the Platoon had exited the bivouac site without leaving any trace that we had been there. Some managed to have a few bites from their MREs, but we were quickly moving to the final evolution of the weekend. The Fire Team in the Offense (FITO) training took our four-man units and put them through several missions in hostile territory, testing many of the skills we had worked on. The upperclassmen got their teams briefed and ready before navigating woods, swamps, and hills en route to the objectives. Always on the alert, we faced multiple ambushes and assaulted the Cadre positions until the FITO course finally reached an end. This last phase concluded our training for the weekend, and the cold, exhausted Midshipmen loaded up in the vans to reach the extraction site. As we waited in an open field for the Blackhawks, the Cadre took the time to build a terrain model out of sticks and stones, showing the Platoon how to thoroughly brief a mission plan. Before long, the blades of the helicopters kicked up the dust and tore apart the grass of the landing zone along with the Cadre’s work on the terrain model. Once again, the platoon was good to go and gone in minutes.


Boston University Company Pass in Review


by MIDN 3/c Abraham

This past Saturday, the NROTC Boston University Company joined with cadets from Air Force and Army ROTC for the 33rd annual Pass In Review. The Pass In Review is a long-standing military ceremony that ensures battle readiness of troops, and recognizes the commitment and dedication graduating midshipmen and cadets have demonstrated throughout their involvement in ROTC. The ceremony also introduces the future generation of servicemen and women to the established traditions and customs of the armed forces.

Though the morning was at first frigid and windy, by the time Major General Craig Olson took the podium as the guest speaker, the sun was shining and Nickerson Field was beginning to warm. General Olson spoke of the experiences he has encountered and the people he has served for and alongside throughout his 33 year career in the United States Air Force. His assertion that throughout his career he has never actually worked a day in his life expresses his true passion and commitment to serving his country, and it is a perspective that Midshipmen and Cadets should attempt to emulate in their future military careers.

The Company Commander, MIDN 1/c Connor Love, along with Platoon Commanders MIDN 1/c Jason Grissino and Sean Spata led the Midshipmen in formation for the duration of the ceremony, which ran smoothly and timely.

The Pass in Review ceremony took place over Boston University’s Parents weekend and offered many mothers and fathers the opportunity to witness their son or daughter participate in this memorable event. After the Pass In Review, Boston University held a reception inside Agganis Arena for the attendees, the students and their families.

Hail To LT Daniel

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Written by MIDN 3/C Jackson Graves

The Boston NROTC Consortium is excited to welcome aboard LT Charles Daniel to the Battalion this semester. LT Daniel joins us as the 1/C and 2/C Advisor for the year. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with the Class of 2009 and commissioned into the quiet but mighty submarine community.

After completing power school and prototype in Charleston, SC, LT Daniel reported to his first duty station aboard the USS HAMPTON, SSN-767, in December of 2010. After a CENTCOM and a WESTPAC deployment aboard the ship under as the Reactor Controls Assistant and the Assistant Engineer, he detached in November of 2013. One month later, he checked in with Destroyer Squadron 28 as the Submarine Operations Officer. In that position, he was in charge of operational and logistics planning for the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN-75) Carrier Strike Group. In June of 2015, he arrived in Boston to begin working with the Boston NROTC Consortium.

As the 1/C and 2/C Advisor, he teaches Naval Ship Systems and Seapower & Navigation to the upperclassmen in order to prepare them for the rigors of a highly technical career in a highly-sophisticated Navy. As an effort to help the upperclassmen prepare for life in the Navy, he gives them helpful advice in the form of “Ensign 101.” One such example is to “Always try to learn. Use every opportunity as a learning opportunity.”

LT Daniel is excited to get to work with the talented people and Midshipmen of the Boston NROTC Consortium. He hopes to have a positive impact on their lives as a result of his work here. The Battalion is honored to have LT Daniel and is excited to learn from his wealth of fleet experience.

Celebrating the Navy’s 240th Birthday

By MIDN 2/C Reid

Saturday, October 10, Boston University’s GSU held the annual United States Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball for the Boston University and MIT NROTC Consortium. The event was a roaring success due to the efforts of MIDN 2/C Monica Shifflet and the midshipmen who assisted her. The special guest speaker was CDR Jason Williamson, a Naval Aviator who graduated and commissioned through Boston University NROTC.


As is the tradition of the Ball, the 1/C midshipmen arrived early to meet the guests and introduce their dates to different members of the staff. As everyone arrived, the ceremony began and included many traditional elements such as the posting of colors with sword detail, a description of the POW/MIA table, and the cutting of the birthday cake.

Our esteemed speaker and guest CDR Williamson recently took position as the Executive Officer of the “Pelicans” of P-8 Patrol Squadron Forty Five (VP-45). His speech touched on how influential his twenty years in the service has been on his life, how the midshipmen in the room are the future of the Navy and Marine Corps, and that there are hundreds of men and women across the world who are standing watch at this moment, serving their country.


CDR Williamson focused much of his speech on the theme of the Ball: “Navy Reserves: Ready Then, Ready Now, Ready Always.”

Ready THEN: Two-thirds (70%) of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, most of the world’s population lives close to a coast (80%), and almost all (90%) global trade travels by sea. Born a maritime nation, 240 years of service have proved that in peace and in war, a strong, forward-deployed Navy is key to America’s success.

Ready NOW: More than ever, today’s Navy is demographically representative of the nation we serve, which is critically important both to the quality of our all-volunteer force and to fulfilling the principles of the republic we defend.

Ready ALWAYS: Our Sailors and Civilians continue a two-century tradition of war-fighting excellence, adaptation, and resilience. A key component to our success over the past 100 years has been our Navy Reserve. As uniformed service members, Navy Reservists expand our capacity with ready, plug-‘n-play experience, discipline and skills; as civilians, they bring diverse work experience and out-of-the-box problem solving tools to the Navy.


Every year the Boston Consortium looks forward to the Birthday Ball as a chance to celebrate the heritage of the Navy and Marine Corps, and enjoy a fun evening battalion-wide. This year was no different and we extend a special thanks to MIDN 2/C Shifflet and the guests who were able to enjoy it with us.

Hail To LT Wielgus


By MIDN 3/C Lennert

The Boston NROTC Consortium is excited to welcome aboard LT Ryan Wielgus as the new 4/C advisor for the MIT side of the river.

LT Wielgus hails from Bethesda, MD, and is the only one in his family in the Navy. He was recruited to the Naval Academy for golf and became interested in being part of something bigger when he saw the Academy at a college fair. In 2009, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and four varsity letters as a NCAA Division I golfer. After commissioning, he spent a few months mentoring and tutoring students at the Naval Academy Preparatory School before heading to Pensacola for flight school. After completing flight school in 2011, LT Wielgus reported to Naval Station North Island, San Diego, CA, where he flew the MH-60R Seahawk with the Raptors of HSM-71. From September 2012 to May 2013, he deployed with Carrier Strike Group 3 to the Western Pacific and Middle East aboard the USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74).

Here in Boston, LT Wielgus is excited to pursue a graduate degree in such a lively and thriving city. He sees Boston as full of people with lots of energy and ambition, and is looking forward to being a part of it. He is also excited to teach, as it is something he greatly enjoys. To the midshipmen here, his advice is to “Have fun, take advantage of everything you can,” and, of course, to enjoy “real college”. The battalion is looking forward to working with him and learning from his experiences in the fleet.

Hail to LT Mondloch

My heloBy MIDN 3/C Haley CAMBRIDGE – The Boston NROTC Consortium is happy to welcome Lieutenant Monica Mondloch to the Battalion this semester. LT Mondloch comes aboard in Boston as the Fourth Class Advisor on the BU side of the river, joining us from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, the Island Knights, stationed in Guam.

A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, LT Mondloch has pursued aviation from the time she was in high school as a student pilot, which along with the events of 11 SEPT 2001 motivated her to seek an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. LT Mondloch commissioned from the Academy in 2007, graduating with a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering. After completing flight school and her time with an FRS squadron in Norfolk, LT Mondloch reported to HSC-25 in Guam, flying the MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter. While with HSC-25 LT Mondloch made 2 WESTPAC deployments: one detachment aboard USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD-6) performing SAR operations and Marine tactical support, and one detachment aboard a USNS ammunition resupply vessel in support of the GEORGE WASHINGTON Strike Group, serving as the Operations Officer for both detachments.

LT Mondloch also had the opportunity to deploy on a weeklong detachment to the island of Tinian in tactical support of Marines and performing local Search and Rescue operations. Her crews were also responsible for saving 8 lives from the rough seas around Guam. LT Mondloch remarked that “it was great to get a chance to directly apply your training and make a huge difference saving lives at the same time.”

LT Mondloch is currently pursuing studies at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. She is very excited to get to work with the new 4/c in BU Company and to monitor the Future Female Officers Club. LT Mondloch is also looking forward to pursuing her passions of sailing and skiing here in Boston, both of which she was involved with competitively at the Naval Academy. In addition, LT Mondloch enjoys scuba diving, hiking, and playing the violin in her spare time. The Battalion is honored to work with LT Mondloch, and is looking forward to learning from her incredible experiences in the fleet.

Hail to Commander Masterson

CDR Masterson

The Boston NROTC Battalion is pleased to welcome aboard its new Executive Officer, CDR Brian Masterson, this semester. CDR Masterson, a Naval Aviator and P-3 Orion pilot, relieved CDR Jan Scislowicz over the summer. Originally from New Bedford, Mass, he grew up in South Florida. A trip to the Naval Academy at the age of eight convinced him that Annapolis was the place for him, and he graduated from the Academy in 1996. Flight school came next, and while like most prospective aviators, he came in with the need for speed, a desire to fly jets, he soon realized that flying alone was no fun. A generally outgoing and energetic individual, the Commander wanted to be in the air with people to fly with, and have a little fun along the way. So he chose the P-3, and never looked back.

His first tour was out of Brunswick, Maine, and included three deployments, to Sicily as part of the Kosovo conflict, and then to Iceland and Puerto Rico, and finally one that took him all over Europe and North Africa. Sicily, incidentally, was the Commanders favorite place he has been, and from someone who has literally traveled all around the globe, that is a good endorsement. Next, he taught NFO’s at flight school in Pensacola, and then moved on to the U.S.S. Carl Vinson as the TAO (Tactical Action Officer). After the Vinson, it was back to Brunswick for his Department Head tour, where he deployed to Japan, Europe, and the Persian Gulf, followed by a tour as the Maintenance Officer for the P-3, and later P-8, fleet in Norfolk. Finally, it was back to sea aboard the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the CDC (Combat Direction Center) Officer, and then he arrived in Boston.

He also has some words of wisdom for the Midshipmen when they enter the fleet. “Nothing is forever, the good times won’t last, and the bad times won’t last. Try to find balance, in both your personal and professional life”. Also, with regards to leadership, he advises young Junior Officers to find the style of leadership that works for them, and to be relatable to their subordinates.

Written by MIDN 3/c Griffin Keegan

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