By MIDN 2/c Holland
NEWPORT, Rhode Island–On August 24, a group of freshmen and sophomore Navy/Marine option midshipmen candidates arrived at Naval Base Newport in Rhode Island to begin their Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) New Student Orientation. The week’s mission was to introduce the group to the military in a way that would prepare them to handle the challenges of NROTC and college life. For most, the difficult and rigorous beginning of the week came as a bit of a shock. However, after a few days of classroom lessons and drill the incoming class began to come together and adjust in order to overcome the challenging experience.
MIDN 1/C Robert Conkey, the Commanding Officer of Orientation 2015, called the training a success. MIDN Conkey stated that “Over the course of one week, the incoming midshipmen gained basic knowledge of military service and learned what it means to be leader. Not only did they grow as individuals, but also as a class, and as members of the Navy and Marine Corps team.” This growth was especially exemplified toward the end of the week. On Thursday, August 27, each midshipman donned a full fire-fighting ensemble and fought a raging simulated shipboard fire in the Newport Naval Fire Trainer. On Friday the fourth class came together once again to successfully save the USS Buttercup, Newport’s floating damage control trainer, from sinking.
The week closed with an inspection and drill competition followed by a barbecue, at which the fourth class had the opportunity to speak to the upperclassmen at their respective schools. MIDN 4/C Shannon McCoy described orientation as “a great experience, one that challenged me personally and definitely brought our class together as a team.” Having completed their orientation training, the 4/c are prepared to integrate into the rest of the battalion in order to continue their training to become Naval Officers.