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Midshipman of 19th Company Travel Down Under for Spring Break

Posted on: April 22, 2014 08:00 EDT by Midshipman 1st Class Colleen E. Randolph

“No worries mate” was the phrase of the week for 19th Company midshipmen and staff as they traveled to Australia during spring break. And while the atmosphere between the midshipmen and Australian cadets was one of friendship and good company, midshipmen also learned a great deal about Australian military and culture that will no doubt pay dividends in future joint operations.

Midshipmen 1st Class Luke Walsh and Sam Peterson, and Midshipmen 2nd Class Danielle Abad and Aja Webb were all selected from 19th Company, which played host to 33 Australian Defense Force students last summer. The Australian Defense Force Academy (ADFA) is a tri-service military academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defense Force.

The midshipmen’s travels took them to the cities of Canberra and Sydney.

“The purpose of this trip was to learn about the Australian military and culture, and to also form relationships that will hopefully be rekindled one day when our two countries do joint operations,” said Walsh.

Midshipmen toured Australian ships and went to class and lived with Australian midshipmen.

“The trip has not only helped me to develop culturally, but I have also had the opportunity to make relationships with the Australian military that I will have for the rest of my career,” said Abad. “Overall the trip definitely helped to contribute to my development as future officer.”

Master-at-Arms Senior Chief Brian Hooverson, who accompanied the midshipmen along with 19th Company Officer Marine Maj. William Woodward, echoed Abad’s sentiment and believes that the trip developed a healthy link in working relationships, friendships and candid interactions.

In particular, a joint rugby game between Australian and Naval Academy midshipmen, “really saw the synergy between the two cultures,” said Hooverson.

The trip was a result of careful coordination between the International Programs Office and midshipman planning.

“It was important for the midshipman to assist in the planning,” said Hooverson. “I believe that it taught them an immense amount about initiative, and they did a great job.” 

The midshipmen emerged from their spring break trip culturally immersed and with a fresh perspective.

“I learned that every culture is unique in their own ways,” sad Abad. “I am definitely appreciative of the traditions our nation and military has.” 

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