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

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