Through the NROTC program Midshipmen will prepare themselves for earning their commission in Unrestricted Line communities within the Navy as well as the Marine Corps. Unrestricted Line communities are groups within the Navy where all officers within each respective community is capable of being a Commanding Officer wherever they may be stationed as opposed to Restricted Line communities, which, while still have officers with the same ranks and levels of respect, those officers are not in line to take command at any time.
The surface fleet is the backbone of the American Navy. From Destroyers to Mine Countermeasure vessels, the surface forces are equipped to handle a variety of tasks around the globe in order to maintain freedom of the seas. Those who desire to pursue a career as a Surface Warfare Officer will train and hone their skills in a number of different categories, including seamanship, damage control, anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and ballistic missile defense. SWOLAB focuses on leadership development, so midshipmen are able to command a division or ship down the line. With the cooperation of future aviators, SWOLAB leads a few tactical decision games to better understand vessels’ strong suits, weaponry, and usage, whilst bettering their strategic communication. The minimum time requirement for SWOs to serve active duty post-commission is typically 5 years.
Known as the silent service of the American Navy, the submarine community has been a vital part to the USN’s ability to maintain dominance worldwide. The two primary types of submarines used out in the fleet consist of: fast-attack submarines capable of slipping behind enemy lines, inserting chaos, and exiting the scene without a trace, and ballistic missile submarines, also known as “boomers,” which are submarines that form the Navy’s leg of the Nuclear Triad.
Those who desire to be a SWO Nuke will serve as a regular SWO and go through advanced nuclear power training post-commission and serve a minimum commitment of 5 years post-commission. Nuclear Surface Warfare Officers serve their first tour on a conventional surface platform, leading a division of sailors responsible for systems onboard. They then complete the same technical nuclear training that submarine officers complete, after which they serve as watch officers in the reactor plant of our aircraft carriers.
One of the more demanding communities within the USN, Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers go through intense training in order to be the best air force patrolling the seas. Aviators focus their skills on becoming pilots of numerous types of aircraft, while Flight Officers, instead of piloting aircraft themselves, learn to operate the advanced operating systems onboard naval aircraft. Throughout the year, FOLAB participates in discussions about naval aviation news and tactical decision games, to better understand strategic warfare. With access to the ARC swimming pool and a high-tech flight simulator, hands-on training is a notable component to FOLAB. In order to prepare for commissioning, discussions with NFOs/pilots and ample ASTB test prep are provided to improve a midshipman’s flight school portfolio. Post-commissioning, both careers will report to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL for flight school. Their overall time commitment is increased due to the 3 years it takes to complete flight school plus 5 years of commitment afterwards, which gives Aviators and NFOs 8 full years to meet their minimum service requirement.
The few. The proud. Those who progress through the NROTC program also have the opportunity to commission into the Marine Corps. As America’s expeditionary force in readiness, the Marine Corps has one mission: to be the most ready when the nation is least ready. Whether to deter those who wish to do the United States or her allies harm, provide humanitarian aid to areas stricken by disaster, or win our nation’s battles, it is the Marines who will receive the call. Midshipmen who aspire to become Marine Officers will be held to a higher physical standard than their Navy peers, undergo more intense physical training, and receive additional tactical and academic development from Marine staff in preparation for their six week assessment at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia the summer before their senior year of college. Those who pass OCS will earn the title of Marine and commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps following the completion of their senior year. Marine Officers who commission through NROTC should expect a minimum service obligation of four years.
EXPLOSIVE ORDINANCE DISPOSAL
The joint-service Explosive Ordinance Disposal community is certainly not one to be taken lightly. EOD Officers will undergo extensive training that is both physically and mentally demanding in order to be prepared for when the worst comes to worst. Members of this community will learn the best methods for detection, identification, rendering safe, and disposing of explosive ordnance and related devices whether they be chemical, biological, nuclear, or other types of weapons. Post-commission, those selected for this community will go through a 10-month school to train in various elements of warfare before serving their service requirement of 5 years of active duty. Additionally, this community is highly competitive to get into, which will require those interested in becoming an EOD Officer to compile a packet to submit to measure their competitiveness to join the community.
The Naval Special Warfare component of the USN is a highly specialized and select group that primarily conducts special operations in line with US National Interests. The NSW community is divided mainly between SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, and Special Boat Teams. Similarly to the EOD community, members of the NSW community will undergo extensive physical and mental training in order to prepare for a multitude of situations. Also like the EODs, service selection to become an NSW Officer is highly competitive and will require the compilation of a packet for the Navy to use in measuring your competitiveness against other Midshipmen across the nation. Post-commission, new NSW Officers will go through various types of intense training ranging out to be at least 55 weeks long. After completion of their training, they will have a minimum service requirement of 5 years.