SAN DIEGO – Approximately 270 Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipmen from around the country are selecting their first ships this week.
Midshipmen are ranked against each other nation-wide; selection proceeds one at a time based on overall order of merit, a calculated figure that measures academic and professional performance, much like a sports draft.
"Ship selection is an important milestone for these soon-to-be Surface Warfare Officers because their first assignment sets the stage for the remainder of their careers," said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, Commander, Naval Surface Forces. "From the day these midshipmen report to their first ships, they will make a direct contribution to our efforts to place warfighting first, operate forward and be ready. We welcome them to the Surface Force and hope they join our Fleet with pride."
The process began with a call from Hunt to the number one NROTC student in the nation, Midn. First Class Emily Motz, from State University of New York Maritime College in New York City. Motz, a native of Amelia, Ohio, selected USS Stockdale (DDG 106), homeported in San Diego.
“I was extremely excited to speak with Vice Admiral Hunt this morning and to receive a warm welcome by my future commanding officer, Cmdr. Alexis Walker,” said Motz. I look forward to becoming a contributing member of the Surface Warfare community as one of the newest members of the STOCKDALE wardroom, and would like to thank everyone in my life that has helped me reach this milestone.”
Hunt, a 1975 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, also placed a call to his alma mater and Midn. First Class Samuel Stern. Stern, the fifth midshipman to select, chose USS Momsen (DDG 92), homeported in Everett, Wash.
A recent decision to open assignment to the Navy’s newest ship class made this year’s selection process a historic one. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, networked surface combatant designed to operate in the near-shore environment, while capable of open-ocean tasking, and win against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. The LCS class is comprised of two hull designs and features mission packages that allow it to adapt to changing operational needs in a short period of time, including anti-submarine warfare, mine counter-measures, and surface warfare modules. The 40-person crew size makes service onboard one of these vessels a unique experience.
"Those individuals that step up and take a challenge by selecting these particular ships are going to be the developers of how we fight and how we do business going into the future," said Hunt. All six LCS billets available to NROTC students were selected during the first day of the process.
“Ship selection is a fantastic experience because it enables the Midshipmen and Officer Candidates to take charge of their career from the onset,” said Lt. Adam Stein, New Ascensions Detailer at Navy Personnel Command and Coordinator of the ship selection process. “We as a Surface community go to great lengths to manage our accession process in an empowering way. I believe this sets a positive trend for the leadership and management experience these young men and women will immediately gain as Surface Warfare Officers.”
Stein, a 2005 graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s NROTC program, selected USS Antietam (CG 54) out of San Diego as his first assignment.
“Whether they select first or later on, these Midshipmen have an exciting future ahead of them,” said Stein. “In our line of work, it's very easy to have a rewarding career path when you are willing to put in the effort, no matter where you serve.”
Ship selection is a two-day process; by the end of the week, approximately 270 NROTC Midshipman will have selected their first tour of duty. They will join the Fleet with 280 counterparts from the United States Naval Academy, who selected last week.