Hands-on training is an important part of becoming a Naval officer. Some of the most important training an NROTC student will receive occurs while on summer cruise. Each four-week cruise is designed to show the student a different aspect of life in the Navy or Marine Corps.
The program in which a student is involved determines the number of summer cruises. Scholarship students will attend three summer cruises under the Navy or Marine Option. College Program students will attend one summer cruise.
The first cruise will occur during the summer following a student's (both Navy and Marine option) freshman year. This four-week cruise is known as Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID).
CORTRAMID is designed to show midshipmen the different communities within the Naval service:
- One week will be spent with the Surface Warfare community. Midshipmen will experience life in a surface combatant such as a cruiser or destroyer.
- One week will be spent with the Aviation community. During this time midshipmen will see the everyday functions of an aviation squadron.
- One week will be spent with the Submarine community. Here, midshipmen will experience life on a submarine.
- The final week will be spent with the Marines. During this week midshipmen will be exposed to life as a Marine.
The summer after their sophomore year scholarship students go on their Second-Class cruise. For Navy option students, this means they will spend all four weeks in one community. They will be paired with a senior petty officer as a running mate. This petty officer will show the midshipmen what the day-to-day life of an enlisted Sailor is like. This is particularly important for the students, as it gives them an opportunity to see how the people they will be leading experience the Navy.
Marine option midshipmen will be assigned to one of the Marine training schools and experience the training regime for enlisted Marines.
The final cruise in which all midshipmen participate is their First-Class cruise. Navy option midshipmen are once again assigned to a single community for their entire cruise. However, during this cruise their running mate will be a junior officer. This cruise is perhaps the most important, as it is during this time that students will see first-hand the job they will be doing in less than a year.
For Marine option midshipmen the summer will be spent at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, also known as Bulldog. Marine Midshipmen will go through their final testing to prove that they are qualified to become Marine Officer.
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