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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.

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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

Summer Internship At Lawrence Livermore

Article by MIDN 3/c Zachary Litwin

How should clandestine capabilities affect deterrence policies? Could supercomputer simulations replace nuclear testing? What do quantum mechanical models contribute to predictive theories of fission?

For over 60 years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has answered questions like these. The Laboratory is the multidisciplinary conception of two physicists and was established during the Cold War to further nuclear research being done at Los Alamos. Its first major breakthrough was a warhead for the Navy’s submarine-launched Polaris missiles.

Today, the Laboratory’s focus on strategic deterrence and nuclear security continues. However, its mission has expanded to include many other research directions that change how America fights and wins. Over 40% of the scientists and engineers employed by the Laboratory hold Ph.D.s, and from the newest smart weapon to the world’s fastest supercomputer, Lawrence Livermore has it all.

To educate the next generation and preserve existing partnerships, the Laboratory hosts hundreds of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate interns each summer. Among these visiting students are Midshipmen, Cadets, and Active Duty Officers from the Navy, Army, and Air Force. In fact, there is a program that brings in ROTC students as well as recently commissioned officers. Internships manager Barry Goldman explains, “LLNL is a Department of Energy (DoE), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Defense and National Security Lab. As such, there is a lot we do that supports DoD. By providing support to researchers, ROTC [interns] learn about us and what we do for the military. We see this as a win-win for you and your careers and possibly for LLNL… You bring energy and motivation, and of course, you support the military.”

All interns either do a research project or support their assigned mentor’s research. Additionally, interns can choose to attend guest speaker events, seminars, and tutorials held on campus by experts from various agencies and universities.  Some research groups hold classes taught by experienced faculty for their interns.

The culture at the Laboratory is perfect for individuals who demonstrate initiative and a strong desire to learn and work alongside teams of experts. Over 1000 lab employees hold Ph.D.s., so interns learn something new every day. According to Barry Goldman, “students consistently count ‘mentorship’ as one big positive takeaway at the end of the summer.” Thanks in part to the lab’s historical and continued multidisciplinary employment structure, an intern or scientist’s background is leveraged in projects both within and outside of their academic discipline. For example, a computer science major could perform valuable work in both cybersecurity operations and life sciences directorates.

As a math major, I had an internship in cybersecurity at LLNL. During my time at the Lab, I completed an initial research project on a topic that my mentors were interested in exploring further. My mentors shared a passion for the topics that I explored, and they were eager to pass their knowledge and experience down to me. In particular, my senior mentor’s decades of experience at the Lab gave him tremendous context to explain the constitutional, legal, and policy issues surrounding cyber security. All in all, I had a great experience as an intern and would highly recommend the internship to anyone with an interest in the science behind the defense of our nation.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory boasts an impressive collection of user facilities (totaling $6 billion) and access to game-changing technologies hidden from corporate and public view, but its most valuable asset is its innovative culture and workforce. Just as it did during the Cold War, the Laboratory mixes academic research with practical applications to create asymmetrical advantages and solve future problems. Among the solutions that the Laboratory has provided are high performance computing simulations, chemical and biological warfare agent detection technology, and the foundations of the Human Genome Project.

At the lab, ROTC student interns and newly commissioned officers can make valuable contributions to defense and national security while learning about real-world uses of their field of study.

For those interested in an internship opportunity at LLNL, the deadline for resume submission is February 28th, but applying early is best. Midshipmen who plan to apply should reach out to me for advice on the application process.

SFS FEX Fall 2016

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Article by MIDN 4/c Jack Venden, photo provided by MIDN 2/c Steven LaDine

As a high school student, organization was never one of my major concerns. I was able to keep track of my homework assignments, test dates, and extracurriculars very easily. I excelled in these activities without writing myself notes or maintaining a calendar. As a result, I felt disciplined. Feeling control over my surroundings in high school made me confident that I would require little organizational development as a college student and NROTC midshipman.

After my first week of college classes and my indoctrination weekend, it was clear I was far from organized. I felt blindsided every hour with a new academic or NROTC assignment, event, or task, and I had no plan of how to record it all. Nonetheless, I still felt disciplined. At least I was making more of an effort than the average college student to stay organized and complete my tasks on time. As far as I was concerned, “trying my best” was good enough, and that eventually, the organizational piece would magically come together. It wasn’t until the Field Exercise (or FEX) for Marine Options that I discovered what it truly means to be organized and disciplined.

Upon our arrival to Peddocks Island, I was feeling good to go. I had checked my gear lists, my canteens were full, my moleskin was precut, and my skivvies were rolled and stashed in zip-lock bags. I was hydrated, fed, rested, and motivated. The second we hit the pier however, I was consumed by the chaos. I ran up the hill following the cadre towards the bivouac, my left shoulder burning from the weight of someone’s ILBE, the pole of the guidon banding my shin with every step. I had no control over my surroundings. I didn’t feel disciplined. I felt like an idiot.

Things only got worse after stepping off. I took too long fumbling with the poles and loopholes of the tent, so I had to disassemble it and start over. Halfway through our six-mile hike, I wasted precious minutes looking for my foot powder, so I didn’t have time to eat. I had to fill my stomach with water from my camelback instead. Worst of all, coming back from getting my feet patched up in sick bay, I forgot my rifle. Standing in front of the whole platoon and shouting to the cadre “sir, this candidate does not have his rifle” was by far the most difficult part of my FEX experience.

Our weekend on Peddocks Island taught me the importance of organization in the United States Marine Corps. It became obvious that regardless of speed, volume, intensity, fitness, leadership ability, or drive, people cannot succeed at officer candidate school (OCS) and become effective leaders of Marines without being exceptionally organized. They must be accountable for their own equipment and plans, as well as the equipment and roles of the Marines under their command. Failure to live up to these expectations cannot be tolerated regardless of how hard one tries. In combat, when someone fails to do their job, people die.

The responsibility of our future roles as leaders of Marines is daunting. We will need the ability to make difficult decisions in stressful situations. That ability will be tested to the extreme at OCS, and the only way to learn where we need to improve is to get in the field and practice. This FEX was my first practice, it showed me that I have a long road ahead of me before I can be an officer. More importantly, however, it showed the specific skills I would need to improve upon in order to earn the title “United States Marine Corps Officer.”