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Professional Training Helps Mids Make Career Decisions

Posted on: July 15, 2013 08:00 EDT by Lt. Harry Qui

A group of Naval Academy midshipmen recently went underway on board USS Dewey (DDG 105) as part of the Professional Training of Midshipman, or PROTRAMID, program.

During the four weeks of PROTRAMID, midshipmen have the opportunity to experience fleet life as each week is dedicated to a different naval community: surface, submarines, aviation and Marine Corps.

The midshipmen participating in PROTRAMID are entering their 2nd Class year and will soon choose which career pipeline they want to pursue. The opportunity to interact with officers in each of these communities can help them make that decision.

On board USS Dewey, the mids were given a tour of the ship and a chance to interact with the crew and junior officers. Having been commissioned in the last few years, JOs can more closely relate to what the midshipmen are going through than others on board. In addition, JOs can provide insights into the steps they took and the transition needed to go from midshipmen to officers.

The midshipmen seemed most interested in what qualifications are required for the SWO (surface warfare officer) pin. They also asked questions about what it is like to be a SWO and what is expected of new ensigns when they first come aboard. Life at sea can be hard on sailors and their families, and some of the midshipmen were interested in learning how to balance professional and personal life. This shows that the midshipmen are actively thinking about how to succeed as a naval officer and their long term naval careers.

In two years, this group of midshipmen will take the Oath of Office once more and receive their commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. They will carry on a fine naval tradition. For the midshipmen who are going to be SWOs, they will provide leadership from the first day they check onboard. This could be challenging at times, but it will be a worthwhile and a rewarding experience. Above all, they will lead their enlisted personnel with distinction. 

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