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Life as a Midshipman

Midshipmen of the Month

MIDN 3/C Coursey headshotMIDN 3/C Coursey

MIDN 3/C Coursey was nominated as the Midshipmen of the Month in October 2022 due to his exceptional performance of duties while serving as the Drill Team Captain during the month of September 2022. MIDN 3/C Coursey performed above and beyond the duties expected of him in an exemplary and highly professional manner. MIDN 3/C Coursey was instrumental in the coordination and planning of the Wisconsin Drill Meet taking place during the month of October. He organized team practices, created detailed rosters and schedules, and communicated efficiently with the University of Wisconsin NROTC. MIDN 3/C Coursey’s exceptional professional ability, initiative, and loyal devotion to duty reflected credit upon himself and were keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval service.

Summer Cruise Opportunities

MIDN 4/C HalterNSI Attendee – MIDN 4/C Halter

Before arriving to campus in the fall, new National Scholarship students are sent to Naval Station Great Lakes, IL for New Student Indoctrination (NSI). NSI is a 17-day indoctrination cycle that prepares high school students to join their units as new fourth-class Midshipmen (MIDN 4/C).

First and foremost, NSI was a major culture shock. Immediately upon arrival, we were expected to uphold the standards expected of commissioned officers in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. We participated in many different training evolutions ranging from physical fitness and warrior toughness to firefighting and marksmanship. Our instructors, senior Midshipmen from all around the country, taught us many things related to everyday life in our NROTC units. We were taught how to wear our uniforms correctly and how to participate in an inspection. We were also taught basic history and knowledge of the Navy and Marine Corps. We spent our free time developing our comradery.

Overall, NSI was an excellent opportunity. Some of my peers, who didn't have the opportunity to attend NSI, have all said that they wished that they could have been there for their early Midshipmen leadership development. As a Midshipmen candidate, I didn’t believe them, but as soon as I reported to NROTC Miami University, it all made sense. We were taught nearly everything we would need to know to be a successful MIDN 4/C. We were even able to teach our fellow MIDN 4/C’s who did not attend NSI some of those essential skills that we learned.

Overall, attending NSI gave me a major advantage prior to arriving at the unit. I firmly believe that my NSI experience and newly developed discipline made the transition from high school to college much less stressful and much more enjoyable. NSI was paramount to my success as a MIDN 4/C and student at Miami University and I strongly recommend for all prospective students to take part in this opportunity.


This summer, I was privileged enough to go to Career Orientation Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID). CORTRAMID is a 4-week long summer training event that exposes rising MIDN 3/C and MIDN 2/C scholarship students to their career opportunities. A full week is devoted to the Aviation, Surface, and Submarine communities of the Navy as well as a full week of Marine Corps exposure. It is conducted in both San Diego, CA and Norfolk, VA.

I went to San Diego and was able to experience the different fields and specialties in the Marine Corps and Navy. We had a Marine Week, where we stayed in Quonset Huts at the luxurious Camp Pendleton. We learned what it was like to be an infantry Marine, we were assigned an infantry platoon that was fresh off of a deployment. We shot machine guns, worked with night vision goggles, went to the airfield, and even got a chance to lead a mission in the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT) where we shot paintball-like simulation rounds.

The next weeks were Submarine Week, Aviation Week, and Surface Warfare week. Outside of training, I got to go to the beautiful city of San Diego. It is so strange that it never rains and the temperature is sunny and seventy-five degrees all of the time. I had a once in a lifetime experience with people that I would never have met. I am truly grateful for this experience.

Marine Month

MIDN 2/C ArlinghausMIDN 2/C Arlinghaus

Marine Month is a summer cruise I went on for both my summer of Freshmen year leading into Sophomore year as well as my Sophomore year leading into Junior year. I stayed in Camp Pendleton at Camp Talega and got to experience life in a Quonset Hut packed with other midshipmen. Throughout the month, I got exposed to the fleet Marine Corps in all aspects, including Ground forces, Air, and everything in between. Some of my highlights include getting to fly in MV-22s and CH-53s, firing the M240b and .50 caliber machine gun, as well as getting to meet officers of all Military Occupational Specialties (MOS’s) in the Marine Corps. I participated in other events as well, including land navigation, competing in physical events, and getting to swim qualify at the Marine Corps Recon facility.

After experiencing Marine Month, I feel that my understanding, as well as overall pride in the Marine Corps, has increased, and I can honestly say it was one of the best times of my life. Marine Month is challenging, interesting, and provides countless opportunities to those aspiring to become a Marine Officer.

MIDN 2/C SkeenNSI Instructor – MIDN 2/C Skeen

This summer, I was a Midshipmen Instructor at New Student Indoctrination (NSI). While there, four other MIDN Instructors and I worked as squad leaders. I helped mentor and train fifty-five of the incoming MIDN 4/C females reporting to various units around the country. I led them through physical training, drill, various trainers such as damage control and marlinspike, and taught them basic knowledge of the Navy.

I was able to get first-hand personal development and leadership experience unlike anything I have done during my time at Miami University. NSI was a great learning experience not just for candidates, but also for Midshipmen wanting to learn and grow their leadership styles to be the best leaders they can be.

MIDN 1/C BahlauSurface Summer Cruise – MIDN 1/C Bahlau

Over the duration of your time in NROTC, you will go on at least one surface cruise, meaning you’ll be on board one of our Navy’s greatest warships! My most memorable surface cruise was my Enlisted Cruise on the USS LEYTE GULF CG 55 in Naval Station Norfolk, VA. 

This was the first time I have ever been on a Naval Ship before, and although I did enlist before going through NROTC, seeing multiple enlisted sailors in their respective rates in their everyday lives was amazing. This was a very humbling experience seeing all the hard work our enlisted sailors do every single day to make the ship work! Understanding and having an appreciation for what the sailors do is very important moving through your career. 

I had an amazing training officer that made sure all the midshipmen had the best time while on board. In my first week there I spent my time with supply rates learning the ins and outs of the ship, I got to ride on a tug boat that took an oiler ship out to fuel island, tour an air squadron in Oceana, tour the USS TRUXTON, and spent a relaxing weekend with new friends before going underway! The second week on the cruiser I spent underway about 100 miles off the coast of Virginia. During this week I was with the engineering rates (which I give all the credit to for all they do for the ship), watched a mooring to a buoy evolution, experienced some storms out at sea, and watched an underway replenishment! All such awesome things to be a part of. However, I will forever say one of my favorite things about the Navy is the friendships you make along the way. And of course… the amazing views you’’ experience out at sea!

MIDN 1/C LewisAviation Summer Cruise – MIDN 1/C Lewis

This summer I was given the opportunity to join HSM-75, the Wolfpack, for a month out in California.  This aviation cruise was extremely helpful in my decision to put Naval Aviator and Naval Flight Officer (NFO) at the top of my preference sheet.  I was able to maneuver the Romeo helicopter around during my familiarization flight and get flights in a Sierra helicopter and a T-34 trainer plane.  I also received survival water skills training at Miramar. 

The willingness of the junior officers and department heads to talk to the midshipmen was beneficial to my professional development and familiarization with the aviation community as a whole. The close-knit atmosphere that I found in the squadron, which was evident during a unit picnic, is what I envisioned as my future Naval career. I look forward to the obstacles that lie ahead and am ready to tackle them head-on. 

MIDN 2/C KincaidSubmarine Summer Cruise – MIDN 2/C Kincaid

For my summer cruise, I was attached to the USS Nevada, a nuclear ballistic missile submarine. During my cruise, I had the opportunity to integrate with the crew and learn how the crews operate on a day-to-day basis. While on the Nevada, I qualified as a sonar broadband operator and was even able to stand sonar watches. During my time, I learned about the different systems and equipment on a submarine and gained a better understanding of the submarine as a whole. I also spent time in the control room of the submarine and was able to observe and get hands-on experience with the different watch stations in control. My cruise solidified my passion to commission as a submarine warfare officer. 

MIDN 1/C SmithOCS – MIDN 1/C M. Smith

The mission of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps is to train and develop future officers mentally, morally, and physically. But as a Marine option Midshipmen, training for Officer Candidate School (OCS) is the first step towards this goal. OCS will push you to your mental and physical limits and test the skills you have spent the last three years developing.

The most challenging aspect of OCS is having to lead your peers, especially in high-intensity and stressful situations. In our ROTC unit, we get to experience leading our peers with billets and class standings, but this environment is always controlled and there is always guidance given by upperclassmen, peers, or professional staff. Your place to fail as a leader is while you are a Midshipmen so that you do not bring those failures or hesitations to the fleet.

At OCS you are guaranteed to fail at an evolution or in a given situation. Getting to experience this environment that requires immediate action and having to recover and reflect on failure has made a huge impact on defining my own leadership philosophy. 

Day in the life of a MIDN

During your time in NROTC you will be both a Midshipman and a college student. One of the great benefits of NROTC is the freedom it affords to develop yourself as a more complete person, unlike our colleagues at the Naval Academy or institutions with a Corps of Cadets. The smaller size of this unit means that each midshipman is viewed and developed as an individual, not a number. Our program here at Miami University provides an engaging and enriching environment where Midshipmen grow as individuals and leaders in order to best serve our country as future Navy and Marine Corps officers. Midshipmen are challenged, growing through trial and error to develop mentally, morally, and physically to the high standard the Navy and Marine Corps team deserves.

The NROTC program ensures that you learn the necessary skills to regulate your own success and the success of those around you through mental and moral development. Each semester as a Midshipman, you will be required to take a naval science class. These classes cover material ranging from naval history to weapon systems. Each of the classes is designed to teach the fundamentals of becoming a naval officer and the basic understanding of the navy it requires. The culmination of our naval science courses comes in the form of an ethics class taught by the Commanding Officer, usually in the semester prior to graduation and commissioning as officers. The NROTC program also requires all Midshipmen to take Leadership Laboratory, a class where the unit receives military instruction and company-wide briefs. 

While in the unit, Midshipmen will be assigned a billet. Billets challenge your leadership skills and teach you how to work in all elements of a team in a military environment. These billets are unit “jobs” that require more involvement within the unit. Billets range from company staff (company commander, platoon commander, platoon sergeant, squad leader, etc.) to support staff (Admin-O, Supply-O, Safety-O, Public Affairs Officer, NJROTC coordinator, etc.). It is these individuals that keep the unit running on a day-to-day basis. Billets are changed every semester to broaden the experiences that each person may have and to allow new skills to be developed.  

All Midshipmen will be placed on study tables for their first semester but can be removed if their semester GPA is above the standard 2.5 requirements. This is to help the incoming 4/C and any other individuals that are struggling with academics to receive the help they need in order to be successful. Tutors are also easily accessible for many of the entry-level classes in each department. For classes not covered by the Miami University tutors, the upperclassmen in the unit are often a great resource for classes.

In order to excel physically, physical training (PT) occurs company-wide every Wednesday and Friday mornings. These PT sessions involve bodyweight exercises ranging from pushups to situps and often involve running. The sessions take roughly an hour and are designed to build mental and physical toughness. Many of our Midshipmen love working out and lifting in their free time and can frequently be found in our unit gym, the LUDUS, or at the rec.

To help you meet the goals you have for your career both in college and the fleet the Midshipmen of Miami University NROTC have created and run several clubs with excellent opportunities to develop yourself professionally and also bond with your fellow midshipmen through fun but challenging activities.

Helm- A student organization for generating revenue to support student events. Students volunteer at Cincinnati Bengals games and FC Cincinnati games. Helm members represent their platoons’ interests and raise money for events like 5K’s and holiday parties, and even develop unit merchandise for students to wear.

Semper Fi Society- A Marine Option club that prepares its members for Officer Candidate School where they will earn their eagle, globe, and anchor. The club competes with the Close Order Drill Team at drill meets in the physical events.  

Close Order Drill Team- A club that practices the Marine Corps drill manual in order to compete in drill competitions hosted by other NROTC units at schools like The Ohio State University, Tulane University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This club focuses on the 5 purposes of drill and works to instill confidence in future Officers. 

Warriors of Tomorrow- A fitness-based club with the goal of developing Midshipmen for the special warfare community (SEALs, EOD). Club meetings are fitness sessions that resemble workouts that one would encounter at BUD/S and dive school. 

Naval Aviation Club- A professional development club that prepares Midshipmen for flight school and a career in aviation through ASTB prep, speakers from the aviation community, and a working flight simulator.

SWO Club- A club for prospective surface warfare officers that discusses current developments in the surface warfare community and actively prepares its members for BDOC. 

Sub Club- A club for prospective nuclear officers that discusses submarine warfare strategy and tactics and prepares Midshipmen for Nuclear Power Interviews. 

Naval ROTC

Commanding Officer Miami NROTC
67 Millett Hall
Oxford, OH 45056