USA: ASN Visits Prairie View A&M NROTC Unit

ASN Visits Prairie View A&M NROTC Unit

Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower & Reserve Affairs, the Honorable Juan M. Garcia III, visited the Prairie View A&M Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit, Oct. 24.

During his visit to the campus, Garcia visited with midshipmen, as well as Dr. Danny Kelley, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and University President Dr. George C. Wright.

“You are the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Garcia. “The training you receive here will prepare you for the challenges you will face in the fleet.”

The Prairie View A&M University NROTC Unit is one of the units that make up the Houston NROTC Consortium. The NROTC unit at Rice University is another university in the consortium. Midshipmen from the University of Houston, Houston Baptist University, and Texas Southern University are also members of the consortium. An NROTC consortium is formed when two or more host units are located geographically close to one another. NROTC courses and professional instruction are held on both campuses and the units can share resources as the Navy and Marine Corps deem appropriate in order to maximize available funds and promote program consistency.

Captain Will Fitzgerald, commanding officer of the Houston NROTC Consortium, reminded the midshipmen of the importance of Secretary Garcia’s visit.

“As you can imagine Secretary Garcia had many, many competing requests for his time – and he chose to come and talk to us this morning,” said Fitzgerald. “That’s how much he values who you are and what you are doing.”

Garcia was in Houston as part of the Houston Fleet Week going on 21-28 October. He is the highest-ranking Navy official to visit the Prairie View A&M NROTC Unit.

“This is a tremendous honor for our unit,” said Midshipman First Class Samantha Stepp. “The Assistant Secretary of the Navy Juan Garcia offered his wisdom on the impact of newly commissioned officers, especially with the extremely sensitive situations the fleet faces. His presentation re-emphasized the power and influence the United States Navy and Marine Corps maintains throughout the world.”

The NROTC Program was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty and loyalty, and with the core values of honor, courage and commitment. The Prairie View A&M NROTC Unit was established in 1968 and the Rice University Unit was established earlier in 1941. In 1993 the two Units formed the Houston NROTC Consortium.

Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), headquartered at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., manages all initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy. This includes overseeing NROTC units at 75 colleges and universities which also have cross-town affiliations with more than 85 additional academic institutions.

There are more than 5,300 midshipmen, officer candidates and MECEP members currently associated with an NROTC unit at colleges and universities throughout the country.

Naval Today Staff,October 29, 2012; Image: US Navy