SAN DIEGO –
The crew of the guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) helped to train the future leaders of the navy by hosting a group of six midshipmen for their summer training period, May 30 to June 21.
According to the Midshipmen Summer Training Handbook, the objective of summer training is to further the professional development of midshipmen by introducing them to the operational Navy and Marine Corps, reinforcing their academic year programs, instilling a sense of pride in their identification with the Navy and Marine Corps, and inclining them towards careers in the naval service.
"It is a pleasure having midshipmen aboard," said Capt. Curt Renshaw, Chancellorsville’s commanding officer. “I know they will get a lot of great training, exposure to all aspects of the surface force, and hopefully wonderful experiences from this cruise.”
Of the six midshipmen, five were from the U.S. Naval Academy and one was from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas.
"For many of the midshipmen it's their first time on a ship and their first time here in San Diego,” said Cdr. Jason Rogers, the ship’s executive officer. “So it was important that our schedule met all the training requirements for their summer cruise, but at the same time provided them opportunities to enjoy and explore the well renowned activities that San Diego has to offer."
The midshipmen were paired up with enlisted and officer running mates who mentored and guided the midshipmen during their summer cruise. They helped the midshipmen learn about the many areas of operations aboard the ship in addition to answering any questions that they had about the different communities within the Navy.
The midshipmen were able to observe an underway replenishment, the firing of the ship’s large caliber weapons and helicopter landings on the ship’s flight deck. Under the crew's supervision, the midshipmen also gained hands-on experience in damage control and firefighting techniques.
"This is a great way for us to get exposed to what's out there in the fleet so when it comes to service selection we have a better understanding of what's available," said Midshipman 3rd Class Olivia McQuade, from New York.
McQuade said that this was the first ship she’s ever been on and she enjoyed this cruise the most because the cruiser actually got underway, but more importantly, because the officers and crew were so welcoming and helpful.
"The crew is here to support them and they are willing to help show them what naval service is about," said Chancellorsville Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Jonas Carter. "They understand these are their future leaders and could possibly work with them in the future, so they want to prepare them as best as possible."
Renshaw said the time with the midshipmen will not only prepare the ship's crew for future midshipmen cruises, but will also help the midshipmen make the best decision for their future naval careers.