From the U.S. Navy! Go, Baylee Smith, go!!!!!:
Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipman 1st Class Baylee Smith, from Oakham, participates in Surface Warfare Officer Ship Selection (U.S. Navy photo by Audio-Visual Production Specialist Dustan Burke/Released)
Oakham Native participates in NROTC Ship Selection Draft
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jamal McNeill, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Navy Midshipman Baylee Smith from Oakham participated in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) ship selection draft as a future member of the U.S. Navy’s Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community.
More than 280 midshipmen at 70 Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) units around the country have selected to serve in the Navy as surface warfare officers. Each selecting midshipman is ranked according to his or her grade point average, aptitude scores, and physical fitness.
“The Morehouse NROTC unit is an attachment of the Atlanta Region Consortium with GA Tech,” said Smith. “Since Spelman does not have its own NROTC program, students from Spelman are a cross affiliation to the Morehouse NROTC program.”
Years of hard work, dedication, and exceptional performance have led Smith to be ranked in the top-5 of all midshipmen nationally. The top-5 ranked midshipmen had the opportunity be the first to select which ship they would like to be on to start their promising Naval career, during a Google Hangout videoconference conducted by the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. This is the first time midshipmen have used the videoconference versus a phone to select their ship and it allows these distinguished midshipmen to share this great milestone with their loved ones back home.
“The SWO Ship Selection to me is a competitive race to choose the best location and type of ship that fits your career,” said Smith.
Smith, a 2012 Quabbin Regional High School graduate, has selected to serve aboard the USS John Finn (DDG 113), and is majoring in economics while attending Spelman. Upon graduation, Muth will receive a commission as a Navy Ensign and report aboard the John Finn as a surface warfare officer.
USS John Finn is the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy. The ship named after John William Fin, the first Medal of Honor recipient of World War II. John Finn has not been commissioned and Smith has the opportunity to be apart of the crew that takes the ship on its first mission.
The midshipmen’s selection of their ship is not only a milestone for them but also an important day for the ships in the fleet. Not only do the midshipmen choose where they are going to start their Naval career, but the ship they choose will also gain a motivated, eager, young officer to help lead and improve an already great team.
“This is an exciting day,” said Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), which oversees the NROTC program. “We have some of the finest talent in our nation and we have the opportunity to marry them up with some of our finest teams in our fleet.”
Evans also told the midshipmen that should be excited, because they have a great future ahead of them on some of the Navy’s best platforms around the world.
While NROTC units are spread out across the country and vary in size, they all teach midshipmen the values, standards, abilities and responsibility that it takes to become a Navy officers and lead this nations sons and daughters in protecting freedom on the seven seas.
“NROTC has challenged me to face my weaknesses and learn how to improve them,” said Smith. “Many of the traits such as organization, time management, and the ability to lead peers has transferred in other professional and personal realms.”
“Why Being There Matters”
On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea.
The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans.
Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that.
They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.
Thank you very much for your support of the men and women in U.S. Navy, deployed around the clock and ready to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans.