There are a few things that are a part of daily Midshipman life that anyone considering joining Purdue NROTC should know.
When you come to Purdue to begin your freshman year of college, all Midshipmen, whether they have a scholarship or are enrolled in the College Program, are invited to attend a New Student Orientation for approximately four days the week before classes start. This orientation includes an introduction to the skills of Close Order Drill, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and their traditions, and physical training (PT). Uniforms are also issued. The goal of this orientation is to familiarize the incoming freshmen with life as a Midshipman in the Naval Services, allow them to meet the other Midshipmen of the battalion, and give them an idea of what to expect for the next four years. Incoming scholarship Midshipman will also attend New Student Orientation at NSTC Great Lakes before coming to Purdue.
Once the semester starts, Midshipmen will attend classes like non-NROTC students. However, Midshipmen will take one 3-credit hour Naval Science course and a lab period on Tuesday mornings in addition to the classes required by their specific major. Every Tuesday, Midshipmen wear their uniforms all day while on campus.
At Purdue NROTC, academics is our number one priority. The battalion hires tutors to help Midshipmen succeed in their courses, especially Calculus and Physics. Assistance is also available from battalion Midshipmen for other classes.
Fitness is also a key part of developing Midshipmen into officers. Marine and Navy option Midshipmen complete physical training three times a week (M-W-F) at 0545.
Mentorship is organized among Midshipmen every semester. Freshmen and sophomores choose a junior or senior Midshipman to mentor him or her. These mentors work with underclass Midshipmen to develop physically, academically, and in leadership. These mentor pairs complete multiple events every semester that focus on each of these aspects of development.
The battalion sponsors extracurricular activities including a Drill Team, Basketball Team, Softball Team, intramural sports teams, and Color Guard. Purdue Midshipmen are also involved in other activities on campus. While academics is our top priority, it is recognized that extracurricular activity contributes to a well-rounded individual, and therefore Midshipmen are encouraged to be involved in campus activities.
Every home football game, the battalion works security detail at Ross-Ade Stadium. This is the battalion’s source of income and supports Midshipmen extracurricular activities. It also provides funds to defray the cost of the Navy / Marine Corps Birthday Ball, the Senior Class Mess Night, gifts from the battalion, and picnics or pizza parties the battalion may host.
Midshipmen training continues in the summer. To commission, Navy Option Midshipmen must complete NSTC Great Lakes New Student Indoctrination (NSI), Sea Trials, and First-Class Cruise. Career Orientation and Training of Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) is also important training, but is not a commissioning requirement. Marine Option Midshipmen are required to complete NSTC Great Lakes NSI and Officer Candidate School (OCS) to commission.
Academics, extracurricular activities, and physical fitness comprise life as a Midshipman at Purdue NROTC and provide the experience and opportunity which prepares the Midshipman to succeed as an officer in the United States Navy or Marine Corps.
Fall New Student Orientation - Introduction to Purdue NROTC
All incoming freshman are invited to become acquainted with the battalion and its expectations during this five-day evolution. The incoming fourth-class Midshipmen are taught the fundamentals and skills within the Navy and Marine Corps. These fundamentals and skills are: drill, physical fitness (PT), military knowledge, and customs and courtesies. The evolution includes a physical fitness assessment (PFA) or Physical Fitness Test (PFT), and daily PT sessions and a completion ceremony where the incoming fourth-class become integrated into the battalion. This event is also accompanied by a battalion grill-out.
Each summer, Midshipmen on scholarship participate in a summer training program. Both Navy and Marine Option Midshipmen will have the opportunity to spend time onboard submarines, surface combatants, aviation squadrons, and a Marine Corps base during CORTRAMID the summer after their fourth-class year. Navy Option Midshipmen attend Sea Trials after third-class year for advanced training and as a milestone on their path to commissioning. The final summer, Navy Option Midshipmen shadow a junior officer on a surface ship, submarine, or aviation squadron to learn about that community as their First-Class Cruise.
Marine Option Midshipmen attend OCS the summer before their senior year to put their training and abilities to the test before commissioning.
Extracurricular Activities of Midshipmen at Purdue NROTC
Purdue NROTC sponsors intramural sports, such as softball, volleyball, soccer, etc. These intramural sports offer a chance for Midshipmen to bond with others outside of mandatory training, as well as play sports at different levels of competition. These sports are offered in both the Fall and Spring semesters.
Each fall the three Purdue ROTC detachments compete in a variety of athletic events vying for the Commander’s Cup Trophy. The events include sports and activities such as Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Tug-of-War, Basketball, Volleyball, etc. At the end of the two-week competition the battalion with the most points wins the trophy and holds it until the next fall. The Naval ROTC Battalion has won this competition for the last four years running.
The NROTC Basketball Team competes annually in the Flyin’ Irish Tri-Service Basketball Tournament at the University of Notre Dame. ROTC units from across the country convene early in the spring semester to compete for a prestigious trophy.
The NROTC Drill Team is a new addition back to the unit after years of being dormant. They are looking to expand the number of events in which they participate in the near future. In their first semester back in the unit, they will compete at a drill meet at Ohio State University. They are looking to expand the number of competitions they travel to, and their involvement on campus.
Any Midshipman may join the Semper Fidelis Society at Purdue NROTC. This group is also open to MECEPs and PLCs who are attending Purdue. Semper Fi, as it is commonly called, is named after the Marine Corps motto, “Always Faithful”. It provides members with opportunities to learn the skills of a Marine Infantry Officer and coordinates field training evolutions.
Other activities at Purdue in which Midshipmen are involved...
Purdue NROTC Midshipmen participate in many activities outside the battalion; fraternities, sororities, church groups, Purdue Musical Organization, student government, or clubs relating to their major. Our Midshipmen successfully juggle academics, NROTC, Varsity or Club Athletics, Marching Band, and other activities. Many Midshipmen hold down a job in their time at Purdue. There are many opportunities to get involved in the Battalion and on campus, and the Purdue NROTC Unit encourages participation in such activities.