ABOARD USS SHOUP, at sea —
USS Shoup (DDG 86) recently hosted 14 midshipmen for their summer enlisted cruise. The cruise is intended to give the future naval officers an up-close look at shipboard life. Both the Naval Academy and Reserve Officers Training Corps require midshipmen to experience life on a vessel by attending a midshipman cruise each summer until their commission. They attend both an enlisted cruise as well as an officer cruise. During this enlisted cruise, midshipmen resided in berthing, ate chow on the mess decks and experienced the life of a Sailor on a day-to-day basis with their assigned running mates who they shadowed. The midshipmen quickly acclimated to shipboard life and experienced several drills and evolutions.
All of the midshipmen participated in man overboard drills, each having a chance to take the helm as well as conn for the evolution. They also participated in several damage control drills and combat systems scenarios, such as general quarters and detect-to-engage events, and underway replenishments. During two underway replenishments, the midshipmen observed from various stations such as the bridge, fueling station, and line handling area.
“It’s been a pretty interesting experience for me. I enjoyed the underway replenishment. I observed at the fueling station and was impressed with the process of fueling at sea.” says MIDN 1/C Janque Rouser, from Prairie View A&M University. “I think it’s really cool how everything in ROTC comes to life.”
The midshipmen also took part in small boat operations, allowing them to ride in the rigid hull inflatable boat.
By sharing their running mates’ experiences and learning from their fellow shipmates - whether it be on watch, helping with daily divisional tasks, or observing maintenance and troubleshooting - their eagerness to learn and participate shows great promise for the future of surface fleet wardrooms.