The Life of a Midshipman


Originally an apprenticeship program, the original midshipmen served for three or four years on a ship before taking the examination to become a Lieutenant. The name derived from the original duty of standing amidships to pass orders from the quarterdeck, at the rear of the ship, to those working on the forward section of the ship. During the 19th Century, schooling became formalized with the establishment of the United States Naval Academy in 1845 with the motto 'Ex Scientia Tridens,’ from knowledge, sea power. In 1926, the first Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps was established at St. John’s College so that the Navy may have the capacity for rapid expansion. Six more units soon followed.
                Marquette University’s naval tradition began in 1940 with the spirit of being ready ‘in serious emergency.’ During World War II, Marquette became an integral part of the active duty establishment training over seven hundred trainees in aviation, deck supply, dentistry, and the medical field. Today Marquette’s University’s NROTC unit trains officers for active duty in the United States Navy.


“I will bear true faith and allegiance…” Accordingly, we will; conduct ourselves in the highest ethical manner in all relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates; Be honest and truthful in our dealings with each other, and those of junior personal; Encourage new ideas and deliver the bad news, even when it is unpopular. Abide by an uncompromising code of integrity, taking responsibility for our actions and keeping our word; Fulfill or exceed our legal and ethical responsibilities in our public and personal lives twenty four hours a day. Illegal or improper behavior or even the appearance of such behavior will not be tolerated. We are accountable for our profession and personal behavior. We will be mindful of the privilege to serve our fellow Americans.




"I will support and defend..."  Accordingly, we will:  Have the courage to meet the demands of our profession and the mission when it is hazardous, demanding or otherwise difficult; Make decisions in the best interests of the Navy and the nation, without regard to personal consequences; Meet these challenges while adhering to a higher standard of personal conduct and decency; Be loyal to our nation, ensuring the resources entrusted to us are used in an honest, careful and efficient way.  Courage is the value that gives us the moral and mental strength to do what is right, even in the face of personal or professional adversity.




"I will obey the orders..."  Accordingly, we will:  Demand respect up and down the chain of command; Care for the safety, professional, personal and spiritual well-being of our people; Show respect toward all people without regard to race, religion or gender; Treat each individual with human dignity; Be committed to positive change and constant improvement; Exhibit the highest degree of moral character, technical excellence, quality and competence in what we have been trained to do.  The day-to-day duty of every Navy man and woman is to work together as a team to improve the quality of our work, our people and ourselves.




Midshipman Oath

I ______________ having been appointed a Midshipmen, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter:  So help me God.


Midshipman Vision Statement

A midshipman should grow and develop throughout his/her four years in the NROTC program to develop into the best Navy or Marine Corps Officer possible.  Though the freshman year is marked by questions and uncertainties, the seed for succeeding in the NROTC program and becoming a productive member of the Navy/Marine Corps team is planted and will mature over the following years in the program, leading to a commission upon graduation.

The values of honor, courage and commitment should be adopted by each midshipman and incorporated into every aspect of his/her life.  Midshipmen should not tolerate those who do not hold the same high moral values.  This intolerance of immoral behavior can best be illustrated by the phrase “Not in my Navy/Marine Corps!”

America requires its Naval Officers to be held to a higher standard, with strong moral fiber, and possessing a sharp mind and impeccable integrity.  Your goal as a member of the battalion of midshipmen is to excel academically, develop and maintain a high standard of physical fitness, and mature morally with ethical values above reproach.  Achieving these goals will give you the capability of meeting the high standards our nation requires of us … the military leaders of the United States.

Midshipman Opportunities


Midshipmen at Marquette University will earn a bachelor degree at Marquette University or one of the crosstown schools, Milwaukee School of Engineering or University of Wisconsin of Milwaukee.  In addition to college sponsored academic programs, midshipmen have access to unit run tutoring and study programs to ensure academic success. Physics and Calculus tutoring is a staple, but midshipmen have the luxury of older Midshipmen to act as mentors both academically and morally.  Midshipmen also take a Naval Science Minor specifically tailored to teach the ins and outs of the United States Navy. Classes include Naval History, Navigation, and Ships Systems. Furthermore, Midshipmen attend a drill period once a week to fully round off the education for a Naval Officer and can include marching, first aid, and guest speakers.


Physical Fitness

Twice a week, the entire Battalion comes together to conduct personal fitness training (PT) in order to prepare midshipmen physically and mentally for the rigors of the fleet. Workouts include cardio and strength exercises. During the winter, PT often includes CrossFit workouts tailored for the battalion. PT times also allow for many opportunities for midshipmen to take leadership roles which range from the squad level of 5 to 8 individuals to the Company Level of 70 to 100. Physical training is Midshipmen run in order to provide the best opportunity for midshipmen to develop their leadership skills.





Drilling is an expression of a unit’s discipline and cohesion. Marquette University NOROTC practices close order drill in the Marine Corps Tradition. Although drill is also a Navy Tradition, we credit the Marine Corps because our primary drill instructor is our Assistant Marine Officer Instructor who is an experienced enlisted member of the Marine Corp. Drill is an expression of a tradition of excellence and personal and group confidence. All freshmen participate in the drill team to build unit cohesion. The drill team competes in house, but also travels to compete against other units nationwide. Successful drill builds self-confidence, attention to detail, and Esprit de Corps which is essential for success in the United States Navy and Marine Corps.




Periodically, the unit competes with Marquette’s other military branches, Air Force and Army, in a contest of physical strength and stamina. The unit competes in a Tri-ROTC fitness challenge and competes both in flag football and soccer. This represents a great opportunity for midshipmen to build fellowship within the unit, but to meet their counterparts in other services.

Every year the unit also travels to Notre Dame for a Basketball tournament. Boys and Girls teams compete in a friendly, yet competitive tournament with other units across the country. 







Every week, Midshipmen follow the Jesuit tradition of reaching out to those in need around the community. Through Project Homefront, midshipmen meet the homeless and needy to hand out much needed supplies, serve coffee, and provide comfort and solidarity. Midshipmen build compassion and understanding while giving back to the community. In uniform and out, Marquette University are the embodiment of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.







Summer Training summer, scholarship midshipmen depart for their classroom afloat, the US Navy. Midshipmen are placed on active duty vessels in order to learn how the true Navy functions. Training can be conducted anywhere from a Nimitz Aircraft Carrier to an Ohio Class Submarine. Midshipmen work with real officers and enlisted and experience surface, undersea, land, and air aspects of the Navy. Midshipmen are given a taste of all the warfare communities over their first summer and in a warfare community of their choice to shadow an enlisted member and an officer during their 2nd Class and 1st Class summers respectively.







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