My trip to Navy

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by SamAca10, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    I stayed at Navy this week because I was visiting the Holocaust museum, and I have to say that I was impressed. Bancroft is HUGE compared to Chase Hall. The buildings are all white, and the dorms have wooden furniture. What was really interesting though were the differences between the mids and coast guard cadets and what are summer experiences are like.
     
  2. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    Interesting. Maybe you could expand more on the differences on the summer experiences?
     
  3. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Sorry about that. I was in a rush to post other things.

    For the summer experiences. USNA: I learned from the mids that their summers aren't operationally focused at all. 3/c summer (the one in between freshman and sophomore year) at Navy is about doing YP patrols and seeing a destroyer- with 100 other mids. They didn't even get underway, and they didn't get qualified in anything either. The mids told me they just followed an enlisted member around and observed what they did.

    USCGA: The previous summer was awesome for me. I was underway the entire time, and spent less of a week in America. While I was on my cutter I qualified to stand helm and lookout, had port calls in Panama and GTMO, and participated in chasing a Go-fast. The other half of the summer was spent on Eagle and making European port calls. Not only did I cross the Atlantic, but I also crossed the Arctic circle.

    I have heard of a few midshipmen going on Eagle their 3/c summer...maybe somebody can verify that?
     
  4. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Youngster cruise is tough because the experience varies so much from person to person, ship to ship, etc. I had a great youngster cruise: went underway for about 10 days, got a ton of liberty, got to watch helo ops, and talk to lost of interesting people to get a feel for what the mystical fleet is like.
    Other people have the experience you mids described, and other people get to go do really cool stuff: on a deployed aircraft carrier, going to Bahrain, etc. It's difficult when you have to put over 1100 people, not including NROTC guys, on ships in the Navy (which all have vastly different expectations of mids...) for them all to have really good, meaningful experiences. Don't forget you were also talking to youngsters, who generally refuse to find value, worth, or satisfaction in anything at USNA (kidding, but not).

    You have to remember that there's really no point getting "quals" on anything as a Midshipman. Especially since you follow around an enlisted Sailor, most of the technical aspect of what they do doesn't carry over. For example, I was with a CTT2 in the electronic warfare shop. Her job was pretty boring when underway and really technical and boring when we weren't underway. Also, out of the ~1100 people in my class who got service assignments, only ~280 are going SWO. I've heard of mids, especially for 1/C cruise, being added to the watch rotation and getting quals because at that point your career path is more-or-less-kinda-sorta figured out (at any rate, if you're on SWO cruise you're probably going SWO). Sub cruise is another beast as well.

    I mean, it was fun to drive around the destroyer on PROTAMID doing man overboard drills, but considering I'm going Marines not really directly applicable. What was more valuable was talking to the different Sailors and officers on the ship and learning about what they did/what they thought about it/etc.


    Never heard of mids going to Eagle for 3/C summer. The guys who go to USCGA on exchange for a semester do a couple weeks of Coast Guard familiarization that might include going to Eagle. Not sure.
     
  5. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    The exchangers spend a week on Eagle, but I was referring to the Youngster cruise.

    There's something about the service selection too, I think. Most of you guys will go to another school (TBS, Flight School, Buds, Nuke school, etc.) after you commission to get more experience in your branch of service. Whereas most of our guys go straight to ships, with the few exceptions of those lucky enough to get flight school or a sector straight out of here.

    haha and it's true...I'm a 3/c. I know the feeling of cynicism that you're talking about.

    PROTRIMID sounds really neat though, getting to see a bunch of sides of the Navy and Marine Corps.

    So how's the firstie summer work? Does everyone pretty much know what they are selecting when they pick their firstie summer cruises?

    Congrats on Marines! Air or Ground?
     
  6. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    Sam: Each summer, Mids at USNA have two summer training blocks. One is intended to be operationally related (i.e. a "cruise"), the other (not Plebe Summer) is usually leadership related. Hurricane is right that every Mid's experience during Youngster summer can be wildly different, and it really depends on the ship, the number of Mids they take aboard, and the attitudes of both the Mid and the ship's crew. I know Mids who have had great Youngster cruises (ride a sub from Hawaii to Japan with liberty on both ends), and and not at all great (be on a ship that's tied to the dock at Norfolk).

    PROTRAMID has received universal thumbs up from the various Mids I know (comments, Hurricane?). The rotations give each Mid the opportunity to learn something more about each possible service area. My DD got to do aerobatics in a trainer aircraft, was on the helm of a sub, rode on helos and an Osprey, and got to watch Marines blow things up.

    1/C summer, Mids do their cruise in an area that they are considering for service selection. Last summer, mine did Leatherneck (prep for USMC). Hurricane could give many more details, but most of the training evolutions during the month were abbreviated versions of what newly commissioned USMC 2nd Lts do during "The Basic School" =TBS. During the other training block, many Mids serve as part of the leadership for Plebe Summer for the incoming class.
     
  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Thanks! Air. :cool:

    Firstie summer is kind of the make-or-break time if you want to go Marines or SEALs/EOD because there's essentially mandatory training for those service selections.
    Less so if you want to go "normal Navy" (subs, SWO, air): due to funding and scheduling, it's cheaper to send people on surface cruises than to squadrons, so it's not the end of the world for guys who want to go air who get a surface cruise because there's only a limited number of aviation cruise spots. What you do firstie summer is a factor though at service selection. A lot of people try to get recommendations from their squadrons if they're trying to get air, for example. Or, if they're unlucky and get sent to a ship when they want air, try to find time at their ship to spend time with pilots/go visit a squadron and get a recommendation from them.
     
  8. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Awesome. I'm hoping to get flight school out of here as well :cool:
     
  9. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    True statement for Navy SWOs, as well. Other than Seamanship and Navigation and Practicum Course, I had no other training before heading to sea. Now-a-days, there is a 4 week school and apparently that will expand into a few weeks longer, shortly down-the-road.

    As far as Summer Cruise, I was our ship's MIDN Training Officer. I put quite a bit of work into making it a successful cruise (even though this was on top of my primary job and a third collateral). Fortunately, our first 2 blocks saw a lot of underway time -- some MIDN saw the Harpoon, 5-inch, CIWS, SM-2, simulated torpedoes fired; that was obviously exciting. The last block was practically all in port and a challenge for myself and the MIDN. The cruise is all dependent on the MIDN -- if they want to be there, they will learn; if not, they will be miserable.
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    All I can say is that 1/C summer seems somewhat more organized -- and important -- than in my day.

    I would echo the comments that 1/C and 3/C summer can vary greatly depending on the interest of your command in hosting mids. As Jadler said, some go all out to make it a fun, exciting and useful experience. Others consider mids a royal pain in the neck.

    I saw both -- 3/C "cruise" was a disaster. On a gator, tied up at an amphib base, where our "running mates" (the enlisted whom we were supposed to follow) never introduced themselves such that we had to track them down. And then they told us they really had no time for us. When we actually tried to do something (welding), we were told we couldn't b/c we might get hurt. It was a miserable two weeks and, thankfully, only two weeks b/c had already done a month-long sail cruise.

    1/C cruise I was on a DDG working up a CV for deployment. Did lots of drills, got to stand watch. We were at sea 2/4 weeks (no ports :frown:). The CO was committed to our having great experience and it remains one of the highlights of my summers.

    Just remember, as Jadler said, hosting mids is done above and beyond the really long days everyone is already putting in. You'd love for every experience to be perfect but they are not.
     
  11. osdad

    osdad Member

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    My Youngster did her 3/C cruise on patrol on a Boomer for 17 (?) days with 6 other female MID/NROTC. Actually did get qualified on a number of navigation stations - doubt that they'll carry over should she even select subs.

    Said she enjoyed the comradere of the crew and "could see myself" doing that. Of course, the crew was on their best behavior - one key statistic: water useage doubled while the women were on board. I guess crew showers became mandatory. :shake:
     

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