USA: Midshipmen Visit Ohio-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine at Sea

U.S. Naval Recruit Officer Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen boarded the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) July 20 for Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen, or CORTRAMID.

CORTRAMID is a four-week familiarization of four naval warfare communities for third class midshipmen, or midshipmen who just completed their first year of college. During the program, the midshipmen visit various installations, ships, air wings and Marine Corps stations to for a brief overview of surface warfare, submarines, aviation and Marines. The program is conducted at shore training sites on the East and West Coasts.

“What this is all about is to get our midshipmen out to see what we as a Navy do,” said Capt. Curt Stevens, professor of naval sciences at Boston University and ballistic missile submarine officer. “We want to leave a positive impression on the midshipmen to ensure we get the best candidates possible for the different officer communities.”

When this class of midshipmen arrived at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay last weekend, they had a full schedule of training evolutions from damage control to physical readiness and shipboard tours arranged for them.

Michael Benner, a 19-year-old astrophysics major from the University of California at Los Angeles, applied for the NROTC program to carry on his family legacy of Naval service. He’s narrowed his career path to either aviation or submarines.

“My father was a sonar technician when he was in the Navy,” Benner said. “He always wanted to join the submarine community, but never had the opportunity. Just being able to go underway on a boomer will make my dad totally jealous.”

“Many of us have joined a branch of the military that we know nothing about,” said Benner. “Being able to go out and physically see the different communities at work is a great advantage to deciding a career path.”

While underway, the midshipmen will experience typical evolutions aboard an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. These evolutions include periscope operations, battle stations and angles and dangles, a critical submarine exercise that determines if all materials are properly secured for silent running.

“Before my CORTRAMID tour three years ago, I had already pretty much decided I wanted to be a submarine officer,” said Ensign Aaron Smith, CORTRAMID East assistant company officer, Delta company. “But my time underway solidified my decision that this was exactly what I wanted to do as a Naval officer.”

“It’s great that I’m coming back out for another tour,” Smith said. “Even though I’ve already received my commission, this is still as new to me as it is for the new midshipmen.”

“It’s always interesting to run into one of the guys who ends up becoming part of the crew,” Stevens said as he reflected back on one of his ensigns having toured his boat during a previous CORTRAMID. “It means that you did your job and left a great impression of the Navy and your community to at least one guy. That’s really fulfilling.”

The NROTC program was established to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the unrestricted line Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve. Selected applicants for the NROTC Scholarship Program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition, books, fees and other financial benefits at many of the country’s leading colleges and universities. Upon graduation, midshipmen are commissioned as officers in the unrestricted line Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve.

NROTC was established in 1926 to provide knowledgeable citizens to serve as officers in the U.S. Navy. At first there were six NROTC units, at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Washington, and Harvard and Yale Universities. In 1930, these units commissioned 126 midshipmen to begin their careers as naval officers. Today, more than 100 schools have NROTC units, and thousands of midshipmen are commissioned each year.


Source: navy, July 25, 2011;