Naval ROTC welcomes freshmen to ASU
Arriving before most other students at Arizona State University, more than 60 prospective Navy and Marine Corps midshipmen were introduced to college and military life during four intense days of physical fitness training, personal and professional development classes, swim and drill instruction.
Each morning of Naval Freshman/New Student Orientation (FNSO) started at 5:30 a.m. with fitness training periods, including a run to the top of “A" mountain and a small unit team-building exercise at Papago Park. There, new students conducted simulated missions where they resupplied a forward operating base, rescued a downed aviator and evacuated a fellow squad member – all while navigating a 3.5 mile course through the park.
Topping off the week, the six squads of 10 competed in a field meet at Sun Angel Stadium. During the meet, the freshmen flipped bulldozer tires, ran in an 80-yard relay race – while carrying two 30 pound ammo cans – and compted in a tug-of-war game against the upper class staff.
“The students came together as squads and platoons in excellent fashion, really demonstrating great camaraderie and esprit de corps throughout the course and at our final field meet," said Captain Dave Price, the commanding officer. "The only things higher than the Sonoran Desert temps all week were the morale and motivation of our newest Sea Devils.”
In addition, upper class midshipmen – some soon to commission as Navy ensigns or Marine second lieutenants – provided 17 hours of classroom instruction. Academic success, sexual assault prevention and response, time and stress management, uniform wear and Navy/Marine Corps basics were all covered in order to give new students a solid foundation for college and with Naval ROTC (NROTC).
The University Police Department, Hayden Library and Student Services also gave presentations, and all new students received three hours each of swimming and drill instruction in preparation for future NROTC requirements.
Rounding out the experience, new students were officially sworn in as midshipmen and inducted into the Sea Devil Battalion by the commanding officer, with proud family members and friends looking on. The week concluded with a BBQ where the new students helped prove “just how much college kids can eat.”
"FNSO was truly an eye opening event for me," said Jonathon Richmond, midshipman fourth class. "I was able to gain further knowledge for the Navy's fitness standards, academic standards, as well as create relationships with people that will last a lifetime. I had a blast and have taken a lot from my past week at FNSO."
With just over 150 midshipmen, the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at ASU is now one of the largest in the country. To find out more about Naval Sciences, visit http://nrotc.asu.edu and check out the "combat camera."
Written by Lieutenant Ryan Taggart