Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
 
10/1/2015
 
Hands-on Surface Navy Experience

Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) hosted midshipmen as part of the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2015 Professional Training for Midshipmen (PROTRAMID) Surface week.

Hands on

PROTRAMID is an eight-week program during the summer months that provides in-depth training to midshipmen on the various communities within the Navy and Marine Corps.

"PROTRAMID starts when midshipmen are in their sophomore year of college," said Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Hansen, SURFLANT engineering damage control training and readiness officer. "Our goal is to help show the midshipmen the various areas of military service and let them see if a particular area is something they would be interested in pursuing as a career."

Participants spend a week learning and training in surface, aviation and submarine warfare areas, and the Marine Corps.

"I am who I am from my experiences that I have gained from the waterfront. You choose what you take from the different communities; Marine Corps, submarine, aviation or surface warfare," said Rear Adm. Pete A. Gumataotao, SURFLANT’s previous commander. "It is your passion and how you apply it. You are going to find out what each community has to offer and what their strong points are."

 

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PROTRAMID is an import ant time for midshipmen because it provides increased understanding and first-hand experience in the Navy, and can help them improve leadership skills and choose specific officer career paths.

"Specialized cruises are offered to the midshipmen in every warfare community, to include aviation, surface, submarine, special warfare and special operations," said Hansen. "Marine Corps students attend ‘Bulldog’ prior to their senior year of college. During this time, they are assigned to Marine units for their summer training, either at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, or Marine Corp s Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina."

The program helps develop the midshipmen mentally, morally and physically, and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values. The goal is to commission naval officers who possess basic professional backgrounds and are motivated toward careers in the Navy and Marine Corps.

"I found PROTRAMID to be helpful in giving me the chance to see the different communities the Navy has to offer," Alison Keenan, a third-year midshipman, said. "I found the [submarine] community to be the most interesting because at school we are only there for academics. The only training or actual interaction we have with the fleet is during the summer months. So actually getting to go on a sub for the first time and seeing ho w everything looks and works has helped me out a lot and was an eye opening experience."

The midshipmen summer program has proven to play a vital role in giving the future leaders of the Navy an opportunity t o experience the broad range and multiple facets that encompass the Navy’s mission; a mission to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. Surface Warfare Magazine

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