While you can get a good idea of Midshipman life at Purdue from our newsletter, “The Boilerman,” there are a few more things that are a part of daily 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 Freshman Orientation for about five days 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.
Once the semester starts, Midshipmen will attend classes similar to non-NROTC students. Once the semester starts, 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, Physics, and Chemistry. Assistance is also available from battalion Midshipmen for other classes.
Marine option Midshipmen complete physical training three times a week (M-W-F) at 0545. Navy option Midshipmen complete two sessions of physical training each week.
The battalion sponsors a number of extracurricular activities including a Drill Team, Pistol and Rifle Team, Basketball Team, Soccer Team, Softball Team, and Color Guard. Purdue Midshipmen are also involved in other activities on campus. While academics is our number one priority, it is recognized that extracurricular activity contributes to a well rounded individual, and therefore Midshipmen are encouraged to be involved in campus activities.
After every home football game, the entire battalion comes together to clean up Ross-Ade Stadium the following Sunday morning. 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.
All of these factors, academics, extracurricular activities, and physical fitness, are what comprises 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 Freshman Orientation - Introduction to Purdue NROTC
All incoming freshman have the opportunity to become well-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), daily PT sessions and an end-all graduation of the new freshman accompanied by a battalion grill-out.
Extracurricular Activities of Midshipmen at Purdue NROTC
The Purdue NROTC Soccer Team competes in the Intramural League at Purdue. The team plays outdoors during the Fall season and indoors in the Spring. During the winter, the NROTC Soccer Team can be found practicing and conditioning for the next season.
Purdue NROTC Softball Teams can be found on the field during the fall and spring. They are a part of the Intramural Softball League and compete against other campus teams.
The NROTC Basketball Teams compete in several major tournaments each year which are held at other universities and military bases. The tournaments are highly competitive and include Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC teams from throughout the United States. Each year, at least one of the teams has come home with a trophy. The team also sponsors an annual basketball tournament at Purdue.
Rifle and Pistol Teams
Members of the Purdue NROTC Rifle and Pistol Teams perfect their marksmanship and compete in several meets both at home and at other universities. Qualifying members regularly compete at the national level.
As the pride of the Unit and ambassadors of Purdue at drill meets across the Midwest, the NROTC Drill Team maintains a full schedule of activities throughout the year. During the Fall semester, the Drill Team marches in the local Veteran’s Day Parade and performs at the Navy/Marine Birthday Ball. In Spring, the emphasis is on drill competition. The team travels to other universities and participates in several meets during this semester.
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. Some even hold down a job. There are many opportunities to get involved in the Battalion and on campus, and the PURDUE NROTC Unit encourages participation in such activities.
Each summer, midshipmen on scholarship participate in a summer training program. Midshipmen will have the opportunity to spend time onboard nuclear powered fast attack submarines (SSN’s), ballistic missile submarines (SSBN’s), aircraft carriers, surface combatants, or aviation squadrons.