Full Speed Ahead By MIDN 3rd Class Mark Altman, ERAU NROTCU A group of highly motivated individuals were

welcomed into the Embry-Riddle Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps Battalion in a swearing in ceremony on Thursday October 8th. After six weeks of strenuous training, a group of 60 Midshipmen Candidates was inducted into the Navy Battalion here on campus, increasing the Battalion size from 137 to 197 Midshipmen. These new Midshipmen are, “locked, cocked, and ready to rock,” according to Delta Company Commander Midshipman 1 st Class Neal Dunne, but they certainly didn’t start that way. On the final day of University Orientation this semester, a group of 87 new students took a seat next to their parents in the IC Auditorium unsure of what they were about to see, and when the Delta Company Training Staff marched to the front of the crowd and began to explain the training they would be partaking in, many of these new Candidates began to question whether or not the Navy was for them. The mission of Delta Company Training is to educate, train, screen, and evaluate Midshipman Candidates to determine if they have the moral, intellectual, and physical qualities necessary to be a Navy Midshipman. To this end the training staff created a schedule that stressed something different every two weeks, a schedule that used only 94 training hours, which didn’t allow much room for mistakes. The first two weeks stressed discipline; the motto “Speed, Volume, and Intensity will set you free” became a mantra among Candidates and their staff. The second two weeks were used to stress team work among Candidates, and the third two weeks stressed initiative, awarding the leaders in the group while encouraging others to their example. During this training the Candidates took trips to NAS Jacksonville for tours of aviation squadrons and swim qualifications; they went to NS Mayport for tours of fleet surface ships, and they were engaged in arduous physical training, which challenged both their minds and their bodies. As the weeks of training progressed, the stress caused close personal examination on the part of the Candidates, and 33% of the original 87 Candidates decided they couldn’t continue, but those that found the intestinal fortitude and personal determination to persevere, now stand tall as Midshipmen 4th Class, the newest members of the Embry-Riddle Navy ROTC Battalion. Certain Candidates stood out as exceptional, exhibiting the Navy Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment in every moment of their training. The top Candidate for the entire training company was Midshipman 4th Class Ryan Mizgorski from Pittsburg, PA. Each Platoon also selected a top Candidate; 1st Platoon’s top Candidate was Midshipman 4th Class Audriana Llinas, 2nd Platoon chose

Midshipman 4th Class Jeramie Connor, and 3rd Platoon chose Daniel Lahti. These former Candidates displayed a constant and consistent devotion to their duty to their peers and to their training. They were an example to their peers of endurance, military bearing, mental toughness, and enthusiasm. According to their training staff they consistently showed up to training prepared for the day, and they continued to give their all to their peers and to their trainers throughout the entirety of their training. All of these new Midshipmen have taken their first step towards a future of service in the World’s Finest Navy and Marine Corps. They have the potential for a long career in service of our nation, and the Embry-Riddle Navy Battalion hopes that the University-at-Large will join them in wishing these new Midshipmen a hardy welcome and congratulations for this accomplishment.