For new students at Regent, it can be a jarring experience when they first encounter fellow classmates walking around campus in camouflage uniforms and military boots. But for anyone who has attended school here for any length of time, you know that at Regent University, we are the proud host of 40 members of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC). Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know a little more about these highly motivated midshipmen, who are expected to excel academically in their chosen degree while also receiving training to prepare them to become commissioned officers in the United States Navy or Marine Corps.
A few days ago, I was given the opportunity to interview the commander for the company on campus, Midshipmen third-class Daphne Snover and the Public Affairs Officer, Midshipmen fourth-class, Gary Powers. Midshipmen Snover, a senior studying Law & National Security, transferred from a university in Japan a few years ago because she knew how much Regent University does to support the armed forces. Her current goal is to become either a helicopter or fighter pilot in the Navy. Midshipmen Powers grew up in Portsmouth and was originally planning to enlist directly into the navy. However, after hearing about the ROTC program from one of the representatives from the Regent Military Resource Center at a career fair, he decided to pursue an education at Regent through the Navy ROTC program instead.
NROTC is meant to prepare midshipmen academically, morally, and physically. For everyone in the program, the day begins at 6 AM each morning. On Mondays and Wednesdays, they participate in physical training led by enlisted Marines at Old Dominion University. On Tuesday mornings, they hone their drill and ceremony skills. On Thursdays, they participate in labs covering important topics like Information security and privacy, navy conduct policies, financial management, and even mentorship sessions. Throughout the week, they participate in naval science classes to learn the practicalities of nuclear, aircraft, weapon, navigation, and ship systems.
But their commitment to the program does not end there. During the summers, they participate in a training program called Career Orientation Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID). This consists of two weeks spent with Surface Warfare Officers, Submariners, Marines, and Aviators. Midshipman Snover relayed how she and others shadowed enlisted sailors, spent time with fighter squadrons, rode in helicopters, and even had the opportunity to ride in fighter jets.
Even though CORTRAMID sends students out on their own to receive first-hand experience during the semester, the primary focus of NROTC is on building community. NROTC is part of the Hampton Roads Battalion, consisting of four different colleges. This year, Regent finally has enough Midshipmen to form their own dedicated company, giving them a greater level of autonomy. Among this close-knit community, they often provide academic help to each other through tutoring sessions and a study hall that is open every day. They enjoy group activities like roller skating, hanging out at the beach, going out for dinner, and holiday parties. This community also places an emphasis on service through constant volunteer opportunities; they have worked with Habitat for Humanity, helped with park repair and preservation, and assisted at memorial and veterans’ day observances.
We are proud to have the future soldiers of the United States of America here at Regent University, where they can learn how to integrate faith and love into a career that can be very challenging for Christians. Be sure to keep the United States military and specifically the naval officers that have and will graduate from this school in your prayers.