GREAT LAKES - More than 450 Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen candidates from across the United States completed New Student Indoctrination (NSI) July 25 to Aug. 13 at the Navy’s only boot camp, Recruit Training Command (RTC).
This was the second NSI session this summer. NSI Cycle 1 graduated 396 new midshipmen on July 22. Both sessions used the same curriculum and facilities.
The midshipmen candidates participated in the new indoctrination program fully implemented this summer following a 2018 pilot program. It will now be the initial training program for all NROTC students, held each summer before school beings. NSI is designed to prepare the midshipmen candidates for the NROTC program, providing standardized militarization and initial training. The training takes place in the same facilities that train all Navy enlisted Sailors. New Student Indoctrination begins the process of creating basically-trained, smartly-disciplined, tough and courageous future Navy and Marine Corps Officers.
Upper-class midshipmen, instructors and staff led the final graduating 461 candidates from NROTC units across the country, who oversaw and instructed the midshipman candidates with assistance from the Recruit Division Commanders (RDC) and instructors assigned to RTC, as well as Marine Corps Drill Instructors.
NSI is designed “to bring every new midshipman here to Great Lakes for three weeks, before they go to their universities and (NROTC) units, and provide standardized entry-level militarization,” said Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, commander, Naval Service Training Command, which oversees the NROTC program, who was the reviewing officer at the NSI Cycle 2 graduation.
“We give them Warrior Toughness Skills. We train them on a baseline of our five warfighting competencies, applying pressure, and then we send them to their units. Every Sailor and ROTC officer will now come to Great Lakes where we have the great facilities, the programs and the leadership to prepare midshipmen with a common training orientation,” he said.
Sands told the many family members who had traveled to RTC and Naval Station Great Lakes to watch their loved ones graduate and the numerous family members watching on computer Live Stream around the world that all the midshipmen candidates of each NSI cycle came to Great Lakes, “to become something more than what they were. They came to serve but they also came to be challenged. They came to determine whether they were enough,” Sands said.
“They’re different now than they were when they arrived. They stand here today as members of a profession, forged through shared adversity.”
The admiral told the family members that they may notice the new midshipmen are more confident.
“That confidence comes from their own recognition and conviction that they are in fact enough. They are at the very beginning of a long journey but they now know they have what it takes to become leaders in the Navy and Marine Corps. That knowledge and that certainty is a powerful thing. To the midshipmen graduating NSI today, well done, we are all very proud of you. Take care of one another, work hard and stay in the fight,” Sands said.
The three-week NSI included initial militarization, training in the five warfighting competencies – Fire Fighting, Damage Control, Seamanship, Watchstanding and Small Arms Handling and Marksmanship, as well as close order drill, swimming, physical fitness and military inspections by NROTC staff. The midshipmen candidates also studied Naval customs and courtesies and military history.
This program also provides upper-class NROTC Midshipmen the opportunity to gain leadership experience. Under the guidance of active duty staff and instructors, they are responsible for leading and training the midshipman candidates, very similar to how “Detailers” are responsible for training the “Plebes” at the United States Naval Academy during their summer program.
Prior to NSI, NROTC was the only officer accession program in the Department of the Navy that did not require an established, standardized, entry-level militarization and indoctrination phase to commence training. The Navy’s two other line-officer accession programs, the United States Naval Academy (USNA) and Officer Candidate School (OCS), have a six week “Plebe Summer” and a three week “Indoctrination Phase,” respectively.
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The NROTC program is supported by Sands and his NSTC staff at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, and Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. NROTC was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically. The program also imbues in them the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
NSTC supports 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy’s Citizenship Development program. NSTC’s support also includes RTC at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, the NROTC program at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command (OTC) at Newport, Rhode Island and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
For more information on NROTC visit: www.nrotc.navy.mil/