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Midshipmen Train aboard USS Porter
Six midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy arrived aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), May 16, 2018, as part of a summer cruise training program required for all midshipmen.
Every summer, U.S. ships across the fleet host midshipmen in order for the future officers to get hands-on training and experience what daily life consists of on a ship.
Midshipmen 3rd classes get assigned an enlisted running mate, which they will shadow during their time aboard Porter to get an understanding of what the deckplate workload consists of.
During their time underway, the midshipmen will be living amongst the enlisted Sailors and will be directly involved in completing daily tasks as well as participating in evolutions such as underway replenishments, flight quarters, and live-fire gunnery exercises.
“We’re very lucky to have the opportunity to see life on the enlisted side,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Jonathan Gill. “At the Naval Academy, we’re surrounded by officers, so we’ve kind of adopted their perspective. Our time on Porter has allowed us to see the personalities of the people we will work alongside of in a few years and that has been rewarding enough in itself.”
Midshipmen 1st classes are shadowing junior officers to learn the day-to-day role of an officer in a perspective career path they are interested in pursuing.
Porter has hosted midshipmen in the past, and has two officers aboard who trained here as midshipmen. One of which is Ensign Matthew Moeller, Porter’s Auxiliaries Officer.
Moeller said he chose to return to Porter for his first duty station after training here as a midshipmen in 2016.
“The summer training programs that are offered to midshipmen are a great way to give them an idea of what life is like in the fleet,” said Moeller. “After spending a few weeks on Porter as a midshipmen, I knew it was a crew I wanted to be a part of and was lucky enough to get the opportunity to return.”
Moeller volunteered to have Midshipman 1st Class Marco Patzy as a running mate while the midshipmen are aboard the ship.
“I wanted to volunteer to host a midshipmen this summer in order to make them benefit as much as I did from my cruise,” said Moeller.
Patzy, going into his final year at the Naval Academy, said he is in the process of choosing his career path, and for him this training is crucial in helping make that decision.
“This is the last chance I have to see what community I would like to become a part of,” said Patzy. “Surface Warfare Officer has been a preference of mine for a while now, and I will use this cruise to make my final decision before submitting my preference in the fall.”
Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its fifth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.