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Notre Dame Naval Leadership Weekend

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08-11 February, 2018

In an effort to supplement their NROTC training here in Boston, five second class midshipmen recently attended the 23rd annual Notre Dame Naval Leadership Weekend, a two-and-a-half-day event evaluating the principles of leadership in South Bend, Indiana. In keeping with the unofficial Marine Corps motto of “Semper Gumby” or “always flexible,” the weekend’s plan was challenged owing to both the government shutdown as well as a Midwest snow storm, which plagued the travel plans of both the speakers and attendees. Even LT Shawcross, a Notre Dame graduate and BU-MIT NROTC Consortium instructor, had his travel cancelled at the last minute. In the face of these setbacks, the Notre Dame midshipmen were still able to produce a meaningful weekend that featured an impressive speaker lineup.

MIDN Keohane and MIDN Singley from Boston College, MIDN Kierstead from Boston University, MIDN Magendanz from MIT, and MIDN Schachman from Harvard, all juniors, represented the Boston Consortium at the conference. While noted speakers such as VADM John Bird, Ret, BGEN Jason Bohm, ADM Harry Harris, and ADM Bill Moran were forced to cancel their appearances because of the possible government shutdown, those who stepped in for them did a remarkable job in motivating and educating the two hundred plus midshipmen who were in attendance.

The most revered naval speaker still able to attend was MCPON Steven S. Giordano, the 14th and current Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. MCPON Giordano implored his audience to be authentic leaders stemming from their own experiences as well as to pursue knowledge through learning every day. He believed that the drive to fight through complacency was what made each generation of naval leaders better than their predecessors. In addition to a Junior Officer Panel tailored towards each warfare community, SgtMaj Donna Dunbar, a retired Marine, spoke about her time leading the famed Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot.

While it was unfortunate that more military commanders were not present, leadership perspective from a business and political view was provided, giving a welcomed opportunity to hear from the important communities that can be overlooked in a typical naval training environment. Tom Schreier, Jr, now a professor at Notre Dame and previously the Vice Chairman of Nuveen Investments, recalled the lessons he learned during his time on Wall Street during the Housing Collapse of 2008. While it was especially important to be prepared in a time of crisis, he noted how his calm demeanor in the face of adversity was contagious to those working for him. Mr. Schreier always strove to make the complicated simple during his financial career. His colleague at Notre Dame and Co-Founder of Keurig, Christopher Stevens, left his audience with the idea that “nothing decreases anxiety like action.” This mantra meshed well with the naval community’s bias towards action. In addition to these Notre Dame professors, the conference also had the opportunity to interact with Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, and Lawrence Greenspun, of the Drucker Institute.

As important as the knowledge imparted by the varied lineup of speakers was, midshipmen from across the country were able to further expand their network of future officers who they will be serving with in the future. In such a large bureaucratic organization, midshipmen realized how small the navy truly is by how many people they had already met through their training. The Notre Dame Naval Leadership Weekend is a great opportunity for all midshipmen to take a critical look at their own leadership styles and should not be overlooked by the underclassmen who have the privilege of going in the future.

Article and photo by MIDN 2/C Singley

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Live-Fire Exercise

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This past weekend, 19 members of the battalion received firearm safety training and were able to practice a live-fire exercise at the Ames Rifle & Pistol club in North Easton, MA.

After receiving instruction on the different types and parts of weapons, proper stance and grip, and proper technique, midshipmen were able to fire off 10 rounds each of .22 caliber and 9mm bullets. For some, the trip was an excellent opportunity to get a little more familiar with the very unfamiliar concept of handling weapons. For others, it was a fun opportunity to practice a skill they had learned but don’t often get to practice. For all, it was an educational experience that will come in handy when using weapons in the fleet.

With this training, seniors were able to fulfill their small-arms handling requirement, getting them one step closer to commissioning at the end of the semester.

John D. O’Bryant NJROTC Visit

NJROTC Visit

On Friday, May 26th a group of NJROTC students from the John D. O’Bryant came to the MIT unit.

Their visit started with a brief tour of the facilities given by Midshipman Hermesch and Ensign Vivilecchia. The JROTC cadets were shown many of the spaces that the midshipmen utilize to conduct their training. The cadets received short introductions to both the COVE and JMS and a brief on how they are used to aid officer development.

Upon completion of the tour MIDN Hermesch and ENS Vivilecchia gave a brief on the purpose of the ROTC program as well as a day in the life of a midshipman. The cadets took the opportunity to ask questions regarding their potential futures in the program.

Tri-Service Balls for BU and MIT Companies

Although the US Department of Defense contains four different branches, we all take the same Oath to support and defend Our Constitution.

Midshipmen from the Boston NROTC Battalion learn about inter-branch camaraderie and the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships with our Brothers and Sisters in arms, both on and off the battlefield. Honored by the presence of Army and Air Force ROTC battalions, Midshipmen share an evening of ceremony, dinner and dance with our fellow future officers.

This is a tradition that has surpassed decades among ROTC battalions across the country, and this will not be the last time we share a meal with our Brothers and Sisters from other branches.

The first four images were taken at the BU Company Tri-Service Ball held at the Metcalf Ballroom at Boston University and the last five images were taken at the MIT Company Tri-Service Ball at the Sheraton Commander Hotel.

Live Fire Shooting at Ames Rifle & Pistol Club

The weekend after learning the basics of marksmanship and weapon safety at Fort Devens, midshipmen from the Boston NROTC Battalion went to Ames Rifle & Pistol Club in Easton, MA to take the MA Concealed Carry class A course.

With one-on-one, highly-trained supervision from the weapons experts at the site, midshipmen had the opportunity to shoot 10 rounds of both .22 and 9mm caliber bullets at multiple different targets.

With this training, seniors have fulfilled their commissioning requirement of small-arms handling and they’re well on their way to take the Oath of Office later in May.

Dry Fire Shooting at Fort Devens

On 11 FEB, the senior class and some underclassmen from the Boston NROTC Battalion had the opportunity to go to Fort Devens for small-arms familiarization. Using the Navy’s standard small-arm, the Beretta M9 pistol, midshipmen were able to learn and employ the basics of marksmanship, weapon safety rules and conditions under guidance from SSgt Waldrep, USMC.

USNA Leadership Conference at Annapolis, MD

Earlier this year, Midshipmen from the Boston NROTC Battalion had the opportunity to attend the USNA Leadership Conference at Annapolis, MD, where they obtained the unique experience to hear from leaders such as Gen. Amos, USMC (ret., 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps), SgtMaj Kent USMC (ret., 16th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps) and Ms. Jodi Greene (Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Policy)).

-Photos provided by MIDN 1/C M. Shifflet