SAN DIEGO – Two junior officers from USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) visited the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corp (NROTC) Unit of University of New Mexico (UNM) Sept. 24th, to share their experiences as young Naval officers.
Ensign Zahra Osman and Ensign Kyle Fullerton, who were recently commissioned through the NROTC program, participated in an early morning lab session with nearly 70 midshipmen and discussed the challenges and rewards of being a junior Surface Warfare Officer (SWO).
"One of my favorite parts of the visit was the Q&A portion of our brief,” said Osman. “I think it gave the Midshipmen and any potential SWO a chance to voice their concerns and have their questions answered by people who are currently living the experience."
Numerous topics of interest were discussed including their training pipeline after commissioning, long term career paths and deckplate leadership opportunities. They also provided an in depth look at the daily responsibilities of a division officer, and a background glimpse of the inner workings of a ship.
The midshipmen asked questions about the transition from midshipman to commissioned officer, life in the officer’s wardroom, and the operational missions of John Paul Jones and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to talk to the midshipmen of UNM. As a recent NROTC graduate myself, I hope that I was able to relate to them and the questions that they had about entering the fleet as junior officers,” said Fullerton. “I greatly benefited from these conversations during my time in NROTC and I hope that I was able to help get them thinking in the right direction as they prepare for the transition from college student to leading the men and women of our Naval forces."
John Paul Jones is an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer homeported at Naval Base San Diego. She is part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Destroyer Squadron Two Three.