Life in the Wolfpack Battalion

Life as a midshipman (MIDN) will be similar to a normal college student’s life with only a few beneficial exceptions. All MIDN will attend physical training (PT) on Monday mornings to build camaraderie and stay physically fit.  PT workouts will vary with focus on running and calisthenics.   At the beginning and end of each semester, there will be a physical readiness test (Navy PRT) or physical fitness test (Marine Corps PFT).  For MIDN who fall below the readiness standards, there is the fitness enhancement programming (FEP) on Friday mornings.  MIDN will be expected to exercise independently throughout the week in addition to attending PT and/or FEP.

For incoming freshmen and Marine option MIDN, there will be drill and rifle practice on Tuesday mornings, instructed by a Gunnery Sergeant.  MIDN will be issued a battalion polo to wear on Tuesday’s to drill and to class.  Drill knowledge will be used in summer training, some battalion events, and at the naval leadership lab.  Drill instills organizational discipline which allows Midshipmen to develop their leadership and communication skills with their peers. 

Leadership lab occurs on Wednesday mornings for approximately 2 hours.  On Wednesday’s, midshipmen will wear the working uniform of the day to lab and classes.  Lab will consist of general military training, guest speakers, history and current events briefs, and other educational presentations and events.  Lab focuses on giving Midshipmen unique hands-on insights into the workings of the Navy and Marine Corps to prepare them for the challenges and responsibilities of being an officer upon commissioning.

Marine option Midshipmen participate in Semper Fi Society, an additional training session one morning a week, typically on Thursdays. Semper Fi challenges Marine option midshipmen to develop camaraderie, teamwork, and leadership in preparation for the rigors of Officer Candidate School, a challenging six-week training regime held at Quantico in the summer between junior and senior year. Navy option Midshipmen are always encouraged and welcome to participate in Semper Fi.  

On all other days of the week, midshipmen will wear appropriate civilian attire to classes.  Below is an example of the plan of the week (POW).

 

 

In addition to weekly activities, there are events organized throughout the semester.  In past years there have been student trips to Naval shipyards to tour ships and submarines, hosted aircraft visits to the Raleigh-Durham Airport, and competitions between consortium schools.  Midshipmen will also fund-raise by organizing and volunteering for events during the semester.  

Fundraising opportunities include selling merchandise for the bookstore during football and baseball games, working university open houses, or other opportunities that present themselves.  With this money, the battalion is able to fund the annual Navy/Marine Corps Ball and support the above field trips.

While this schedule may seem rigorous, many of our midshipmen have plenty of time to participate in extracurriculars like Varsity athletics, community service organizations, part-time jobs and undergraduate research.

Each summer, scholarship students attend summer training, with the exception of those completing summer classes.  After 4/C or freshman year, Marine and Navy Option midshipmen will attend CORTRAMID, a four-week exercise that gives midshipmen exposure to the aviation, surface warfare, submarine, and Marine Corps communities. Midshipmen will receive first-hand experience in each community including flying in a training jet, spending a night underway on a submarine, shooting various weapons systems with the Marines, and learning what it means to be a damage control expert in the surface warfare community. This cruise provides exposure into the unrestricted warfare communities for all midshipmen. 

After their 3/C or sophomore year, Navy option midshipmen will participate in their 2/C training on an enlisted cruise.  For this summer training, midshipmen will be assigned an enlisted running mate on a surface warfare ship or submarine, and learn the daily expectations of enlisted sailors that make our Navy so proficient. This is an enlightening experience for all midshipmen and serves as a way for our future officers to understand what hardships sailors may experience, what makes them perform, and what motivates them so they can be better prepared to lead our next generation of sailors. Marine option midshipmen will attend a 10 day course at Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. This training is conducted at high elevation and develops team cooperation and leadership potential.

After their 2/C or Junior year, Navy option midshipmen will attend their 1/C or Senior Summer Cruise where they will be paired with a junior officer in an active duty aviation squadron, team or surface ship in the fleet in that warfare community in which they hope to earn a commission. They will learn the day-to-day operations of their unit and the expectations of a Junior Officer. Midshipmen will come away from this cruise with a solid understanding of the community.  Marine option midshipmen will attend Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia where they will be tested for 6 weeks on their ability to serve as Officers in the Marine Corps. Marine Option midshipmen must pass Officer Candidate School in order to be commissioned as Second Lieutenants upon graduation.

Prior to starting their senior year, 1/C midshipmen will submit their warfare community preferences for service assignment. Later that semester, they will be notified of their community selection. While Service Assignment is based on merit and the needs of the Navy, 90% of our midshipmen receive either their first or second choices. This speaks to the quality of midshipmen and training that occurs at NC State.