Great Lakes, Illinois - Nearly 400 Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen candidates from across the United States completed New Student Indoctrination (NSI) July 1-22 at the Navy’s only boot camp, Recruit Training Command (RTC).
The incoming college freshmen students participated in the new indoctrination program that was piloted in 2018, and fully implemented this summer. NSI is designed to prepare the midshipmen candidates for the NROTC program while 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 396 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. “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.”
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.
NSI’s second session will begin later this week with hundreds more midshipman candidates arriving to Great Lakes over the next few days.
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.