The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) hosted ROTC future officers as part of Career Oriented Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) July 25-28.
Twenty-five ROTC midshipmen embarked aboard the Norfolk-based ship as part of an effort to help the future leaders determine the specialty in which to begin their naval career.
The group, made up of college students who just finished their freshman year at schools across the country, were treated by Nitze’s crew to a display of life as a surface warfare officer, or SWO. It was most of the midshipmen’s first time ever getting underway or even being on a ship.
“By the second or third day, if you don’t know your way around the ship, if you don’t think about it, usually you’ll end up there,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Cole Gray, an aerospace engineering student at the University of Oklahoma.
Before coming aboard USS Nitze, the future officers were introduced to career fields in aviation and the Marine Corps.
“I liked my experience here a lot,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Trevor Devisser, a technical engineering student at the University of Rochester. “It’s very interesting and eye-opening. I’ve never been on a destroyer before so I never had any ‘first-hand’ experience with how a ship really operates.”
The midshipmen practiced different training exercises while aboard, such as donning the self-containing breathing apparatus and firefighting ensembles and manning the water hoses.
“As an officer, I hone my own abilities to train young people to do great things,” said Cmdr. Christopher A. Nerad, Nitze commanding officer. “I view it as my responsibility to pass on to them so that they can have value later in life.”
The midshipmen will now move on from the surface ship to spend time with submarines.
Source: navy, July 29, 2011;