SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) hosted a summer cruise for midshipmen, June 12.
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.
"I'd like to welcome all the midshipmen," said Cmdr. Chanden Langhofer, commanding officer of William P. Lawrence. "We are very happy to have them aboard and I hope they enjoy the day."
More than 100 midshipmen from collegiate Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) programs around the country experienced life at sea during the day-long underway.
"For many of the midshipmen it's their first time on a ship, so we tried to inform them about the different communities within the Navy," said Lt. j.g. Lindy Frederick, the ship's training officer. "It's good to talk about the many areas of operations aboard the ship and answer their questions."
The midshipmen toured officer and enlisted berthing, the Combat Information Center, and the ship's bridge.
"This is a good way for us midshipmen 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 Solomon Thomas, from Atlanta.
Thomas said although it wasn't the first ship he toured, he enjoyed this cruise the most because the destroyer actually got underway.
The midshipmen learned about small arms aboard the ship and watched an M2HB .50-caliber machine gun live-fire exercise. Under the crew's supervision, the midshipmen gained hands-on experience in damage control and firefighting techniques.
"The crew is here to support them and they are willing to help show them what Naval service is about," said Frederick. "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."
Frederick said she hopes the underway serves to not only prepare the ship's crew for the four scheduled midshipmen cruises slated for later this summer, but to also help the midshipmen make the best decision for their future Naval careers.