For anyone who is in the midst of preparing for future careers in any field, an internship has played a crucial role in the learning process. Immersing one’s self in the real-time, day-to-day activities of your chosen field of specialization is as much a part of education as being taught in classrooms and acquiring knowledge from books.
As part of the summer cruise program of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), the midshipmen will spend more than a month on board the carrier. They will be rotated across the different departments on the ship, where they will be able to experience first-hand how shipboard operations are handled, and live the life of a U.S. naval officer serving at sea.
Lt. Justin Wilson, the midshipmen program coordinator of the USS Ronald Reagan, shared: “Having them on the ship is like a practical classroom experience… They learn about the Navy from books, but they don’t really know what it’s like until they show up to a ‘real’ ship and start doing the ‘real’ thing.’”
Thus far, the midshipmen have been given training for such ship-based job specialties as Combat Direction Center (CDC), Damage Control Central, and Air department. They have also stood bridge watches, and helped the air defense weapons coordinator in the CDC.
Midshipman 1st Class Marissa Jimenez, a senior at Prairie View A&M University, shared: “The transition from the classroom to the ship has been a very interesting road… I am somewhat accustomed to ship life due to my previous midshipmen cruises, but neither of them can compare to coming aboard the Reagan. Being on this carrier has been an exhilarating experience.”