As more and more people are figuring out that the military is, in fact, a viable career option, there appears to be growing demand for navy-friendly colleges and programs. One of the best, and certainly the most popular college-to-military programs available is the NROTC, or Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. This program is similar in nature to the other ROTC programs, and is widely regarded as the most accessible and effective bridge between college and the military.
Regardless of which direction a student is liable to go upon commissioning, the NROTC program is an excellent way to put an individual's career on the fast track. The Navy ROTC runs throughout the military candidate's time spent in college, paying for a large portion of tuition, and providing both training and education in preparation for the student's military service. While the student will attend the classes necessary to graduate with a bachelor's degree, he or she will also be expected to attend navy specific training courses through the semester and the summers in conjuction with school work. The title given to students/officer candidates during college and navy training is "midshipman". This rank is retained until commissioning/graduation, where he or she is promoted to ensign. NROTC midshipman rank structure is illustrated below, and corresponds to a student's training and academic progress.
Throughout a midshipman's journey through college in preparation for his or her commissioning, summers will be spent focusing less on academics, and more on training. Some of those training assignments may include:
-Nuclear Power Training, in which a midshipman will be assigned to a nuclear powered submarine. The standards for this assignment for someone on active duty are incredible high, but pay incredibly well. The training involved is lengthly and the military provides considerable incentive to those who qualify.
-Marine Corps Training, during which time a midshipman preparing for a career in the Marines will spend as long as six weeks assigned to a Marine unit. This time will be spent developing and assessing leadership skills, physical training, academic application, in addition to survival training.
-Afloat Aviation Training, if a midshipman is selected, this training will place him or her on a navy aircraft carrier, with the possibility of both being sent underway in conjuction with training onboard navy aircraft.
-Ashore Aviation Training, similar to the Afloat Aviation training, a midshipman will be assigned to an aviation unit on land. This training may also include flight time.
-NROTC second and third class midshipman will be assigned to a mandatory career orientation (CORTRAMID) that will focus on what will be expected if assigned to aviation, surface, or submarine warfare, as well as training for Marines.
Career Options for NROTC Students Upon Commissioning
The NROTC program allow prospective navy officers to go one of three directions:
-Navy Option: Upon graduation commissioning, join the navy as an ensign (O-1) in one of the navy's warfare divisions: surface warfare, navy aviation (pilot), navy flight officer (also aviation, other than piloting), submarine officer, explosive ordnance disposal officer (EOD), special warfare officer (intel).
-Marine Option: NROTC candidates may also opt to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps (O-1), which is still considered to be a department of the navy.
-Nurse Option: Lastly, students are given the third option to become a navy ensign within the Department of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine, or the Navy Nursing Corps.