University of Washington Naval Reserve Training Corps

UW NROTC Lifestyle

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Summer Cruise

NROTC Summer Life

Just as the typical academic year ends in June, unit events at UW NROTC also ends in June, but that doesn’t mean NROTC trainings ends there. During the summer, each MIDN on scholarship has their own summer training. Rising freshmen participate in New Student Indoctrination (NSI) with other freshmen across the country, as well as New Student Orientation (NSO) at UW NROTC. Rising sophomores will attend Career Orientation and Training for Midshipman (CORTRAMID) for a month-long introduction of the communities in the Navy. Rising Navy-option juniors will shadow an enlisted in either the surface warfare or submarine community while Marine-options will attend Marine Month. Rising Navy-option seniors will shadow an officer in any of the three large communities while Marine-options will attend Officer Candidate School (OCS). There are other summer training options, but the rising senior cruises are required to commission.

Summer Cruise




CORTRAMID is a month-long training exercise that Midshipmen go through in the summer between their freshman and sophomore year. The goal of it is to introduce the Navy and Marine Options to the possible career options to the Midshipmen.

For the first week, Midshipman set sail with the surface fleet. Midshipmen roam around the ship and learn about the surface warfare community. The second week is submarine week. Midshipmen go to Kings Bay, Georgia to tour a submarine base. There they go underway on a submarine for 48 hours to experience life in the submarine community. During this time, they are issued a qualification card that include activities such as driving the submarine and climbing into a torpedo tube. For the third week, Midshipmen are immersed in naval aviation in Norfolk, Virginia. They have a chance to tour carriers, ride in helicopters, and fly a training aircraft. Last is Marine week. Midshipmen stay at a Marine Corps base, in the barracks, for a week and find out what it is like to be a Marine. They have a chance to shoot a variety of weapons (MK19 Grenade Launcher, M240B Machine Gun, M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, M203 Grenade Launcher, and AT4 Anti-Tank Weapon), get CS gassed, participate in Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) training, and even partake in the obstacle course.

Overall, CORTRAMID is meant to show young Midshipmen what their future holds and introduce them to the different communities.

2/C Cruise

The summer between Sophomore and Junior year, Midshipmen attend a second class cruise. During the cruise, Midshipmen shadow enlisted personnel. They have the choice of doing their summer cruise on a warship or a submarine. Midshipmen choosing to go underway on a submarine have the chance to stand watch with enlisted personnel, aid in conning the submarine, and experience drills.

Marine options go on a ten-day training exercise known as Mountain Warfare School.

1/C Cruise - Legacy Cruise

First class cruise is between the summer of their junior and senior year. During this cruise, Midshipmen shadow a Naval Officer to experience what life would be like when they get out to their prospective profession. They have the option of being attached to an aviation squadron, submarine, or surface ship. They also have the chance to go on a naval foreign exchange program, where they experience foreign navies. For Midshipmen hoping to go into special warfare, they are required to either go on an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) cruise or SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) so they can be evaluated for selection into either the EOD or the Navy SEAL community. Marine options attend a 6-week long training exercise called Officer Candidate School (OCS).

For an aviation cruise, Midshipmen are attached to a squadron of any type. During the first few days, Midshipmen conduct water survival training to ensure their safety. On this cruise, Midshipmen fly aircraft and interact with aviators.

For a submarine cruise, Midshipmen shadow an officer on their assigned submarine. They spend their time standing watches and socializing with the officers. They learn what it is like to conduct drills and lead sailors.

On a surface cruise, Midshipmen shadow a junior surface warfare officer in order to learn what is required of a division officer on a United States Navy warship.  This experience allows midshipmen to experience underway ship life and acclimate to an officers work and watch standing schedules.   

The mission for the EOD Cruise is to familiarize Midshipmen with operational Navy EOD capabilities and screen Midshipmen aptitude and physical readiness to ensure the highest caliber of candidate is recommended for accession into the EOD community. They take physical training tests, tour different mobile units, drive robots, qualify in various weapon systems, and train at Naval Air Weapon Station China Lake. This summer cruise is physically and mentally challenging, but will be a rewarding experience for those who come prepared.

SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) is a three-week long selection phase to screen Midshipmen for Basic Underwater Demolition (BUD/S) Training. During SOAS, Midshipmen will be tested and evaluated to see who is the most physically, disciplined, resilient, innovative, intelligent, and tenacious. In addition to the the physical challenges of SOAS, Midshipmen are interviewed by a selection of Navy SEALs both senior officers and senior enlisted for possible selection. Throughout the event, Midshipmen are also exposed to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group One and SEAL Team life.

Marine Option Midshipmen attend the 6-week Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) at Officer Candidate School (OCS). There, Midshipmen are screened and evaluated on their ability to lead Marines. Midshipmen are assessed on their leadership skills while serving in different platoon and company level billets. They go through training events such as the Small Unit Leader Evaluation (SULE) and Leadership Reaction Course (LRC). Also, Midshipmen are challenged physically with events like the Endurance Course, Obstacle Course, and conditioning hikes. Successful completion of OCS earns Midshipmen the title of Marine, and qualifies them to receive their commission as Marine Corps Officers.

Overall, a 1st class cruise is made to give student a better perspective for what they might choose to do in the Navy and if their selected community is right for them.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much will NROTC activities take over my free time?

NROTC is a large time commitment. Be prepared to spend at least 10-15 hours a week in Clark Hall or with the unit, counting just physical trainings, morning lab, and NSCI classes. While it may seem like there is no free time between classes and NROTC obligations sometimes, there are many Midshipmen that continue to participate in extracurricular activities and/or maintain outside jobs.

When do I have to wear my uniform?

There are three main uniforms that we wear: PTUs (physical training uniform) for physical training twice a week and either Service Khakis or NWU Type IIIs (camouflage) on lab days, once a week. Other uniforms we would wear are Service Dinner Blues and Service Dress Blues for special events such as Birthday Ball and Veteran’s Day Memorial Service. Summer whites will show up in late May/early June, and Service Dress Whites for those commissioning in late June.

Do I have to live in the dorms with other Midshipmen?

No, you do not. It does, however, make it more convenient for to live close by due to the frequent morning obligations.

Does the UW NROTC pay for my housing?

No. Please check out UW HFS for financial aid on housing.

Do I get paid as a Midshipman?

Yes. The Navy pays Midshipmen on scholarship every month during the academic school year. The payment amount depends on what year you are in at UW.

  • Freshman: $250/month
  • Sophomore: $300/month
  • Junior: $350/month
  • Senior: $400/month

Is it common to get an outside job as a Midshipman?

Some Midshipmen do get outside jobs while in NROTC. However, you are under contract, therefore your NROTC obligations come first and work cannot be an excuse to get out of mandatory function or a decrease in academic performance.

Can I do sports at UW while in NROTC?

Yes, we encourage it. We have had many Midshipmen in collegiate sports such as soccer and track & field. Please be aware some sport’s training sessions will coincide with the unit’s training sessions. Please check with the coach and/or unit advisor beforehand.

Can I be a doctor through the NROTC scholarship?

No. The scholarship is aimed towards moving Midshipmen to become an unrestricted line officer. A doctor, on the other hand, is a restricted line officer. You may take the pre-med required classes, but the scholarship is not aimed towards making doctors.

What is my service assignment obligation after the scholarship?

Your service assignment depends on which unrestricted line you get selected for:

  • Submarine: 5 years
  • Surface warfare officer: 4 years
  • Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer: 5 years
  • Pilot: 10 years
  • Naval Flight Officer: 8 years
  • Explosive Ordinance Disposal: 5 years
  • Navy Seal: 5 years
  • Marine Officer: 4 years

Can I enroll in any of the military academies while I am in NROTC?

Yes. You can apply to any of the service academies. We have had Midshipman in the past switch to a service academy, but attending UW will not lessen your time requirement at the academy (4 years). You can, however, test out of some classes.

If I get accepted as a Navy option, can I switch to Marine option or vice versa?

Yes. You do have to go through the application process again to switch. Also, you must switch before your junior year.

Can I join a fraternity or a sorority while I am in NROTC?

Yes, but NROTC obligations come first.

If I don’t pick up a 2-3 year scholarship, but I still do the program, can I still commission?

Yes. You can be selected for advanced standing by the unit allowing you to commission if you participated in NROTC. Your time commitment in the Navy is less than a scholarship student.

Can I do Nursing NROTC at the University of Washington?

The University of Washington NROTC program no longer allows nursing options to attend UW. However, you can do earn a nursing degree at our crosstown university, Seattle university, while participating in UW NROTC trainings.

Do I have to be a proficient swimmer to join NROTC?

No, but you do have to pass your second-class swim qualification by the end of your four years at least once for both Navy and Marine options, to commission.

What required classes do I have to take if I am part of NROTC?

Every quarter Midshipmen are required to take a 3-credit naval science class that will prepare student for entry into the Navy. Freshman year naval science consists of an introduction to the navy, as well as Naval history; sophomore year teaches students basic leadership and navigation of ships; junior year includes nuclear engineering and naval weapons; and senior year explores advanced naval officer knowledge, leadership, and ethics.

Outside of Naval Science, students are required to take Calculus I and II, Calc-based physics I and II, a non-western culture class, and a foreign policy class.

Am I allowed to take summer classes?

Yes, if it does not interfere with your summer training (for scholarship students). Tuition for summer classes may not be covered by the scholarship.

Can I switch my major while in NROTC?

Yes. It will require CO approval.

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