Spring 2009 The University of Memphis Dreamers Thinkers Doers Leaders 2 Final Thoughts 3 E Pluribus Unum by cmm19701


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									       Spring 2009

The University of Memphis
Dreamers, Thinkers, Doers = Leaders                  2
Final Thoughts                                       3
E Pluribus Unum                                      4
Title and Registration                               5
Words from the Company CO                            6
Auburn Drill Meet                                    7
Tulane Drill Meet                                    8
Beale Street Drill Meet                              9
Graduating Seniors                                  10-11
Mess Night                                           12
Midshipman of the Quarter                            13
Marine Option                                       14-15
Nursing Option                                       16
Life as an OC                                        17
Life as a MECEP                                      18
The Editors                                          19
Sponsor                                              20

                    The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                     The University of Memphis
       Wow, what a fantastic semester this has been! I can’t begin to express to all of you how
absolutely thrilled I am at your performance over the last 5 months. From the Dining Out to the
Beale Street Drill Meet to the latest PRT/PFA (100% pass), you have surpassed my highest
expectations. You have formed a cohesive team that has met all challenges. The fact that the
Navy/Marine Corps Team took the Commander’s Cup for the second year in a row was icing on the
       I also want to congratulate the graduating Seniors! Regardless of whether you will be
commissioned now or in the fall, your impact on this program has been significant. Your ability to
lead and rally the underclassmen and move them in the right direction will serve you well as you
put on those gold bars and go to work with Sailors and Marines across the globe. I am confident in
you and your abilities as I have observed you in action and have seen the results. Any commander
would be served well by having one of you in his wardroom.
       For the underclassmen, the leadership positions being vacated by the graduating seniors
must be filled. If you are wondering who will be taking on those challenges, look no farther than
your mirror. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone and shift from followership to leadership
when the opportunity presents itself. There are 20+ incoming freshmen that will be looking to you
for leadership in the fall. From the proper wear of a uniform and rendering of military courtesies to
proven study techniques and fitness regimes, they will be looking to you for direction! It is your
time to shine and I have no doubts that you are all up to the task!
       I want you all to have a great summer and enjoy the experiences you will have on summer
cruise. Regardless if it is CORTRAMID, OCS, or a junior/senior cruise, each has its own intrinsic
value in your development as an officer and a leader. For those embarking on the adventure
known as CORTRAMID, you will have an opportunity to experience several different warfare
communities in the Navy (submarine, surface and aviation) and spend a little time with the
Marines. Remember that each community has its own benefits, detractors, optempo, career
milestones and lifestyle. Ask questions of the junior officers escorting you and those you encounter
in the passageways. It is the only chance most of you will have to see some of these communities
prior to making your service selections! Use this opportunity wisely! Also be prepared to bring
back pictures and articles of your experiences to share with those in the unit and those browsing
our website. I look forward to hearing of your adventures first hand in the fall. Take care and have

Performance Counts,
Commander C. R. Dunn, Commanding Officer, Acting

                               The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                The University of Memphis
      I want to first take the opportunity to extend my most sincere gratitude to all the students
from the NROTC. In the three years that I have been the MOI, you have taught me just as much as I
have taught you – you’ve made me a better officer and Marine. I envy all of you for your
commitment in preserving this great Nation’s way of life.
      In all of my recent articles for the Tiger Cruise, I established a conceptual framework for my
thoughts on leadership. I took my personal use of terms and ideas and gave those concepts utility.
In my last article as your MOI, I want to be as direct and blunt as possible in hopes that you will
understand what I feel is vitally important about leadership.
      First, the fleet Navy and Marine Corps is “come as you are.” There are NO training time outs
when you are Ensigns and Second Lieutenants. Accordingly, there is NO light duty for officers. You
come to work everyday and you train with your Marines and Sailors. Always remember that –
some of the luxuries you are afforded here do not exist when you’re the one leading American sons
and daughters. Therefore, get into shape, maintain height and weight standards, and stay in shape.
View everyday as an opportunity to better yourself and those you serve.
      Second, YCBAPAYL! I think everyone at NROTC Memphis knows what this acronym means.
However, the reference is not just about physical training. It is about the way you view the world
and your place in it. It is a realization in self-awareness. As officers, you must be relentless in your
efforts to accomplish the mission and take care of your Sailors and Marines. RELENTLESS! If that
means staying at work until 2100 to finish an award for a Sailor or Marine who deserves
recognition, do it! If that means sacrificing family time to PT on a Saturday because you know you
need it, do it! If that means going without chow to ensure that your troops get fed, then don’t eat!
       Third, once you are commissioned, it is no longer about you. Even when you are progressing
through your MOS school, the tactical and technical knowledge you acquire is merely fuel for
making solid decisions with regard to mission accomplishment and troop welfare. You are entering
a profession which requires you to serve those you lead – not to be served. Rank does NOT have
its privileges.
      Finally, all of the aforementioned gravitates around leadership by example. This simple
phrase encompasses everything we are as leaders. As you have been taught, you are doing one of
two things throughout the day – setting a good example or setting a bad one. All of you have the
potential to set a solid personal example in all areas, but to accomplish this feat, it is going to
“hurt.” Leadership is painful, and you either accept that pain, or you do not. Those who do not will
never truly understand what it means to LEAD! Remember, your actions, not your words, will
define you as a leader.
Semper Fidelis,
Captain C. D. Godwin – Marine Officer Instructor 2006-2009
                                The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                 The University of Memphis
       Well this is the conclusion of my first semester on the University of Memphis NROTC staff
and what an impressive semester it has been. I wasn’t sure what to expect before I arrived but it
certainly wasn’t a company of this size having a competitive drill team, executing a leadership
weekend, executing a dining-out, and executing the second largest drill meet in the nation. Well
done. More importantly, I am proud of the quality of officer this program is producing and that is a
testament not only to the instructors that have come before me, but of the ability of this company
to work together and learn from each other. All of you graduating seniors should be both proud of
your accomplishments and confident in your abilities as officers in the Navy and Marine Corps.
       That said I am anxious to see what next semester has in store. We are anticipating a large
class of incoming midshipmen and I urge all of you that are returning in the fall to use your summer
break to improve yourselves so that you are prepared to set a high standard for the underclassmen
to strive for. The best example of leadership is leadership by example. If we want to continue the
success of this unit we must first set and maintain high standards for ourselves and then instill
those same high standards in everyone who joins the program. I can see that the standards have
already been set, now we must maintain them.
       For those of you receiving leadership billets be ready to lead. This means you must be ready
to both teach and learn. There is no such thing as a perfect leader. Leadership is not something you
master, but rather something you practice. You must always seek to improve yourself. If you are
worried about failing as a leader that is ok, it is when you do nothing about that fear that you
become a failure. We put you in these leadership positions to challenge you and prepare you to
lead Sailors and Marines. We have complete confidence that you are up to the challenge and
capable of great things.
       Finally, I am looking forward to next semester and I am excited to see what the company is
going to accomplish. Furthermore, remember that the instructors are here for you and not the
other way around. We want to see each of you excel and be successful in the fleet. And if you
choose the nuclear navy, more power to you.
LT D. E. Hopp

                               The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                The University of Memphis
        I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the students and staff of the
University of Memphis Naval ROTC. Two years ago I never imagined I would be walking away from
this experience with the respect and knowledge I have gained from a bunch of college students.
The students of this program have turned this Naval ROTC into one of the best within this nation.
This is a program you all should be proud to be apart of, this is because it is yours! You all have
invested your energy and your time to help ensure its success.
        As I leave the University of Memphis, I cannot help but think back to what all of you were
like when we first met. I want you all to do the same. Think back to when you were brand new
freshmen within this NROTC program, and now look at yourselves. A pretty drastic change isn’t it?
It is a change you should embrace and be proud of…. because you earned it! Most of you still have
a long way to go before you are commissioned, but the distance is far less and much more
obtainable than it was when you first arrived at the University of Memphis NROTC. Your
commissioning is now something that each and everyone of you should believe you can achieve.
        It is now up to the students of this Naval ROTC to be the continuity of what this program is all
about. As a new staff takes the reins and leads the University of Memphis NROTC towards the
future, you the students will be their life blood. This is because you now know what it takes to be
successful. You have the title and registration of the U of M Naval ROTC. Through your personal
example and hard work you will assist the future staff of this program in becoming just as
successful as their predecessors have been. I want each and everyone of you who remain in this
program to take ownership of it. It is yours and if you think of it like this, you will continue to make
the program and the students within your charge the best they can be. You all have assisted in
putting the University of Memphis on the map. Two years ago when I was selected for AMOI duty I
had no idea there was a Naval ROTC in Memphis. Now if you Google NROTC Drill Meets, the
University of Memphis pops up on the first page, this is due to your hard work and dedication!
        I have been privileged to have been your AMOI. Being the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor
at the University of Memphis has been the best billet I have held so far in my Marine Corps career.
This is due to a staff that has been made up of quality officers and due to students like yourselves.
Your ownership has made this program great!! The only easy day was yesterday…. Keep up the
good work!

Semper Fidelis,
1stSgt Curtis W. Osburn Assistant Marine Officer Instructor 2007 – 2009

                                 The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                  The University of Memphis
           The students and staff have wrapped up another extremely successful semester, and I have
    been honored to serve this unit as the Company Commander. As I prepare to graduate and leave
    Memphis for The Basic School, I would like to share my thoughts on this great unit. Throughout my
    time in the NROTC, University of Memphis, I have been highly impressed by the level of dedication,
    commitment, and maturity exhibited by the members of this unit. On day one, we are told that at
    the end of our time here, we will not just be officers in the Naval service – we will be leader’s of
    America’s sons and daughters. The students at the Memphis NROTC understand this to be a great
    privilege and honor, and I have been amazed at the way the students commit themselves to
    learning about leadership and what it takes to inspire Marines and Sailors. Our understanding of
    what it takes to be successful leaders is also a testament to the tireless efforts from our instructor
    staff. We have been extremely privileged to have a staff that cares deeply about the students, and
    in my time here I have seen the students soak up the knowledge and experience from the staff and
    we will no doubt be better leaders for it.
           This semester, the unit once again has a great deal to be proud of – from involvement in an
    array of community activities to the hugely successful hosting of the 2nd Annual Beale Street Drill
    Meet. We are proud to be the hosts of the second largest drill meet in the country, and due to the
    brilliant and extremely hard work of this company it was a great time for everyone involved. I have
    no doubt that this meet will continue to grow! In addition to the drill meet, the underclassmen
    have formed a committee charged with planning other events that will benefit our unit and our
    community. These students have shown a great deal of enthusiasm in designing events and
    activities that will continue to enrich the Memphis NROTC. It is this kind of attitude towards the
    betterment of the unit that will continue to make it great semester after semester!
           I consider myself very fortunate to have been apart of this unit; I am a better Marine and a
    better leader for it. I wish my fellow graduates the best of luck as we begin our careers as officers
    in the Naval service. I encourage the up and coming students to continue their hard work and to
    maintain the high standard that has been set. It has been an honor to serve with you all, and I can
    only hope I get the opportunity to do so again in the future.
Semper Fidelis

                                        The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                         The University of Memphis
       Drill: The instant obedience to orders.
       When the Memphis students arrived at Auburn the night before their first 2009 drill meet,
the excitement was obvious. The nervousness of the freshmen was blatant too—though slightly
overshadowed by the confidence of the remaining upperclassmen. Memphis was there to win, and
to prove it they were commitment to practicing every last tough spot in each routine—until 0130
the morning of the drill meet.
       As a drill team commander, the confidence and commitment shown by my drill team
members was unbelievable, and left no doubt in my mind that we were on the fast track to victory.
Though no platoon will ever complete a drill card without at least some minor mistakes, our
mistakes were few and far between. Our hours upon hours of practice paid off, as seen not only by
the four trophies (and one RPG) we brought home, but also by the unit cohesion and
comprehensive knowledge of drill that we now exemplify. The first place win at Auburn gave the
Memphis drill team the confidence to excel at the Tulane drill meet, and will carry us on as we go
into the Beale Street Drill Meet.
       MIDN Falcon

                            The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                             The University of Memphis
       The trip to Tulane for the annual drill meet was greeted by most people in the unit as a
getaway from the hassle of daily NROTC life and also, more importantly, as a chance to promote
the rise of the University of Memphis NROTC Drill Team as a national powerhouse on the drill deck.
       Who would have thought a drill team that is only two years would do so well? From the start
of a drill team in the fall semester of 2007, to competing in the Auburn and Tulane Drill Meets in
the spring of 2008 the drill team has improved sufficiently, despite the fact that the drill team was
forced to seemingly start all over again. Different issues brought about new leaders and members
that had gel together to make this team be as successful. Practices at 0600, road trips, and
countless arguments all result from the different personalities that are present, but this was the
drill meet that made it all worthwhile.
       This same team that went to Auburn and proceeded to grasp victory, then traveled to Tulane,
with high hopes of the same results. The competition at Tulane was sturdy and strong. Other teams
tried to intimidate us with their prior reputations at drill meets, but the University of Memphis
refused to accept that intimidation and used that as a driving force in motivation. A 7th place finish
overall was proof of the hard work that went in to preparation.
       I am extremely proud of our team in their progress in drill and the fun that we shared at the
phenomenal Mardi Gras!
-MIDN 3/C Day

                               The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                The University of Memphis
       The Memphis NROTC Drill Team has been around for two years and in a short amount of
time, we have been very impressive. This past March we hosted the 2nd Annual Beale Street Drill
Meet. While running the drill meet, we also managed to place 3rd overall. Our uniforms got muddy
of this rainy day, but everyone still managed to have a great time. Popping sticks in the rain is all a
motivational day. The complements on having the most organized, professional, and fun drill meet
came pouring in within days after the drill meet.
       Seeing the progress from this past year, the drill will only get better. Eventually we will be
known as one of the best drill teams around. This will not happen without hard work, dedication,
and discipline. I look forward to next year and teaching the incoming freshman a thing or two about
-MIDN 4/C Miller

                                The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                 The University of Memphis
2nd Lt. Ludlow, USMC 2nd Lt. Parker, USMC                     2nd Lt. Gregory, USMC
“There are no bad           "The man who thinks he            "Look not after your own
platoons, only bad          can and the man who               well-being, but after the well-
lieutenants.”-adapted       thinks he can't are both          being of others.“
from Napoleon               right...which one are

         2nd Lt. Terrazas. USMC               2nd Lt. Mazurek, USMC
         "There are no secrets to             "Given enough time, any man
         success. It is the result of         may master the physical. With
         preparation, hard work,              enough knowledge, any man
         learning from failure."-Colin        may become wise. It is the
         Powell                               true warrior who can master
                                              both... and surpass the
                              The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                               The University of Memphis
 Ensign Anderson, USN            Ensign Jestrab, USN              Ensign O’Bryant, USN
 "The Navy has both a            "To get something you've    “Do you want to feel good,
 tradition and a future--and     never had, you've got to do or do you want to do
 we look with pride and          something you've never      good?”-Ted Nugent
 confidence in both              done."-John Calipari
 George Anderson, CNO, 1
 August 1961.

Ensign Dobias, USN             Ensign Blankenship, USN              Ensign Vawter, USN
“Trust in the Lord with all    "He who exercises government         "The ones who try to do
your heart, and lean not on    by means of his virtue may be        something and fail are
your own understanding. In     compared to the north polar          infinitely better than
all your ways acknowledge      star, which keeps its place and      those who try to do
Him and He shall direct        all the stars turn towards it."-     nothing and succeed.”-
your paths.”- Proverbs         Confucius                            Lloyd Jones
3:5,6                            The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009                         11
                                  The University of Memphis
The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
 The University of Memphis
        Midshipman Allen began his NROTC experience at the University of Memphis in January
2009. He immediately became a valued member of the unit and more specifically of the armed
drill team competing in his first event within two weeks of joining the unit. During this event held
at the University of Auburn the unit finished first place overall and MIDN Allen’s contributions were
           Preparing for the unit’s second drill meet, MIDN Allen was made Platoon Exhibition
Commander. He was charged for preparing his team for the largest ROTC drill competition held at
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. All drill teams performed extremely well earning 7th place
overall with over 45 schools competing. This was the units’ best showing at this event.
           MIDN Allen’s demonstrated commitment to the unit resulted in his assignment as the
Recreational Fund Coordinator. This position, like most billets, requires a lot of extra work to
maintain. He has done an excellent job in this financial management position and has earned the
trust and respect of the entire chain of command.
           For his outstanding performance in his first quarter at the unit, MIDN Allen was
nominated and selected as Midshipman of the Quarter for the Spring Quarter of 2009. MIDN Allen
was sincerely moved as he received his award from Mrs. Kreager, mother of fallen LCPL Kreager.
Allen expressed gratitude to his fellow midshipmen for their immediate acceptance and guidance
to be successful in the NROTC program.
-MIDN 4/C Allen

                              The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                               The University of Memphis
        Being a Navy Nurse Option, I go through a lot of the same things as regular Navy option
students, with the exception of a few Class requirements, summer training and selection. As a
Navy Nurse Option I am not required to take calculus or physics, which I really enjoy, especially
when I see how much my fellow midshipmen struggle with these subjects. I also do not have to
take navigation or engineering classes. I do, however, have to take pre-requisite science courses
such as, microbiology and anatomy & physiology I, II, which are mandatory to gain acceptance into
nursing school. I also have to pass with a grade of C or higher and have a science GPA of 2.4 or
higher. I was recently accepted in nursing and it is still only the beginning of more hard work to
        Summer training for me is also different from that of my peer midshipman. Unlike other
Navy options, I am not required to attend CORTRAMID. I only need to attend my 2nd and 1st Class
Midshipmen cruise. On the 2nd Class cruise, I will be at a hospital unit of a ship and shadow a naval
nurse. On the 1st Class cruise, I will be at a naval hospital. After training is complete and it is time to
make my decision about my selection, I only have three choices of duty stations: Bethesda,
Maryland, Norfolk, Virginia, or Balboa, San Diego. I have enjoyed being a navy Nurse Option at the
Memphis Naval ROTC Unit since my orientation, in fall of 2007. Every day is another chance for me
to gain valuable leadership knowledge and increase my leadership capabilities. Being a Navy
Option is academically and physically demanding. It can be repetitious and tedious at times, but it
is all a part of a goal other midshipmen and myself want to achieve in the end, which is to become
competent, courageous, and committed leaders in the United States Navy.
-MIDN 3/C Odom

                                  The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                   The University of Memphis
        During my experience in the Marine Corps, I have heard many say that they joined in order to
"just kill people". As much as that statement of ignorance discourages and disgusts me, I believe
that those who talk tough generally do not act it. However; after maturing, I can not help but
acknowledge that a healthy desire for offensive justice is a very reasonable reason to join the
Marine Corps. Although many join in order to make a difference, serve their country, prove
themselves, gain discipline, experience camaraderie, get a guaranteed pilot slot, or to kill, all
singularly lack a mature acknowledgment of the purpose of the Marine Corps. Many ways exist to
make a difference and serve the country. Realize that Marines could very possibly die before
making a lasting difference, thus not serving the country the way they intended. Proving yourself,
gaining discipline, or experiencing camaraderie might or might not happen, thus these reasons are
significant leaps of faith. Many ways exist to prove yourself, gain discipline, or experience
camaraderie without joining the Marine Corps. Solely joining to get a guaranteed pilot’s slot or to
enhance a résumé in order for a career in the FBI or NASA sounds ridiculous, but these desires are
used as sincere reasons to join. Joining solely for yourself will not work in the Marine Corps team.
Lastly, joining solely to kill is as much selfish as it is naïve. A real acknowledgement of the act of
killing involves an understanding of the magnitude of taking a life and of justice. Those who want
to kill should understand that the Marine Corps only authorizes the killing of the enemies of the
United States, not just anyone. Having correct intentions about who should be killed is a vital
difference from just killing anyone. These intentions separate Marines from armed mobs.
             So why should anyone join the Marine Corps? The answer is found in what everyone
entering the military swears to do. Focus on this selection of the oath of military services which
reads "I, _, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the
United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…". Because the Marine Corps is an
offensive force (the best defense is often the best offense), "support and defend" from the
selection above really translates that Marines should engage in or support an offensive, often times
violent, role against the enemies of the United States. The only reasonable reason to join the
Marine Corps would be because one has a sense of duty or desire to be a part of an effort to shape
the will of the enemies of the United States of America. Generally, shaping the will of enemies
translates into killing which is often the quickest and surest way of destroying their will. However,
shaping and/or destroying the will of the enemies is the highest priority of the Marine Corps, not
killing. If destroying the will can be accomplished more effectively without killing, then no killing
should occur. Examples would include, taking prisoners, force deterrence, and maneuver warfare.
Understand that the Marine Corps Warfighting philosophy stresses the importance of maneuver
rather than bloodshed and stresses disabling a part of the enemy's system in order to prevent the
enemy from working as a whole. The Marine Corps does NOT want to fight its enemy as a whole.
The Marine Corps does NOT want to fight the hard fight. For example, the Marine Corps could
disable a part of an enemy’s system by selectively targeting leaders. By killing enemy leaders the
Marine Corps would weaken the enemy's will while simultaneously minimize in killing. Obviously,
the Marine Corps stresses destroying the will of the enemies of the United States rather than
MERELY killing them. In the Marine Corps, violence is a means to an end which is and always will
be shaping the will of the enemy, NOT an end to a means.

                               The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                The University of Memphis
           As much as I can identify with the other reasons to join the Marine Corps, one should be
     more significant than all of the others. Understand that I do not believe that all other reasons for
     joining are inherently ignorant or selfish, I just think that it is paramount for everyone joining the
     Marine Corps to be fully aware that their purpose is to "support and defend" the United States of
     America and all other reasons for joining are secondary, and a distant secondary if need be. Those
     joining must understand that being “a part of the effort” should be honorable and reward enough.
     (Although Marines are “the Few and the Proud”, understand that being “a part of the effort” will
     include swallowing pride, subordinate behavior, and giving leaders the benefit of the doubt,
     especially for those just joining.)
                In summary, those who join the Marine Corps should understand that "supporting and
     defending" America is the priority of the Marine Corps. They also must be very aware that their job
     requires an ability of killing free of hesitation combined with discern for killing the correct
     person(s), as well as an ironic understanding that they may never have or get to kill. Also, they
     must clearly acknowledge that their job is inherently dangerous; for once they join they
     instantaneously become military targets. However tough the Marine Corps standards are, they
     should NEVER be compared to a fluid, uncertain, disorderly, complex, full of friction war. Thus,
     preparing for war is much more than merely completing an MOS School or passively learning in a
     military classroom. Furthermore, they must know that they will sacrifice freedoms and at least
     some of their independence. Also, much of “free time” and “personal” money may very likely be
     spent on Mission Accomplishment and/or Troop Welfare. Those who really care will endure these
     hardships. Understand that leadership is much more than just another box to be checked. Lastly,
     they must have an understanding for the magnitude of responsibility they will be asked to bear, if
     such a complete understanding of such a magnitude is even possible. Marines do NOT get paid by
     the hour, and they ironically shouldn’t. The Marine Corps needs individuals motivated by honor,
     not just money. Marines are responsible for themselves, their fellow Marines, the Marine Corps,
     and America. They are America's defenders and servants. The burden of protecting and serving
     must be viewed as an honor and regarded as reward, not as a chore.
-MIDN 2/C Thompspn

                                     The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                      The University of Memphis
       I was selected for the Seamen to Admiral- 21 program in October 2007. Less than a week
later I was flying out to meet the USS Enterprise and my squadron VAW 123. While there was little
time to celebrate, the rigorous work schedule while underway kept me in the right state of mind
for NSI. The Naval Science Institute is designed to kick start a fleet sailor’s college career. The
majority of a normal NROTC midshipman’s naval classes are condensed into an eight week long
program and proctored in a boot camp atmosphere. It is a very intense period but was designed to
prepare sailors for the next leg of their journey. Transitioning from the fleet to a campus can be
strenuous for active duty sailors who may have been out of school for several years.
            The three objectives of anyone serving at the NROTC, whether MIDN, MECEP, or OC, are
to hone their physical capabilities, earn their degree, and improve their leadership skills-- all of
which culminate in a commissioning and a chance to lead sailors and marines. One of the greatest
leg ups an OC has is their time spent perfecting their work ethic in the fleet. I attribute most of my
personal success to the spit and grit work ethic I developed working long hours as an enlisted sailor.
Having the mind set to do whatever it takes to get a job done has proven efficient both on a flight
line and in a class room.
            It is difficult to say whether college is easier or harder than serving in the fleet. While I
am not turning wrenches in 135 degree heat under the Kuwaiti sun for 14 hours a day, I am
spending long nights working up a mental sweat studying physics. Expectations are very high
among the command staff at the U of M, especially for those returning from active duty. In addition
to grades, PRT/PFT scores, and billets, there is the assumption that sailors and marines will use
their experience to groom the midshipmen. In the fleet, the majority of knowledge is not passed in
classrooms, but through hands on training. Senior sailors pass on their wisdom to junior sailors on a
day to day basis-- the OCs and MECEPs carry on this practice. One of the biggest leg ups a MIDN can
have is first hand insight into Navy or Marine Corps before they ever receive their commission.
            I am fortunate to have been accepted into a prestigious program that is paying for me to
go to school, and allowing me to receive a commissioning and a slot at flight school. But the
greatest perk for me is being able to come home to my wife and son every day. I am happy to
accept the challenges put in front of me and I take them head on, full force, every time.
 OC Carwile

                                The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
                                 The University of Memphis
             Being a Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) student at the
      University of Memphis is a great experience. Life can be demanding at times but it is never too
      much to handle and is always in preparation for our upcoming career path. As part of the Naval
      Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at the University of Memphis, MECEP’s are an important
      part in the success of the training for future Naval and Marine Corps officers. MECEP students are
      integrated in the Company structure. We are assigned billets as the other Midshipman in the
      Company. We start as fire team leaders in our first semester and end up as Platoon Sergeants or
      Platoon Commanders within a year. At times we have senior students who hold the billet of
      Company Commander or Company First Sergeant. These billets are very important in the success
      of the Company and have to be performed only by the top students in the Company. This is not to
      say that Midshipman do not hold these billets, because they do, and are as successful as the MECEP
      students. They offer many lessons to be learned and have a great wealth of knowledge. This is
      done so we learn and also teach the students how to properly perform the duties of the billet being
             The best part of being a MECEP student at the University of Memphis is being able to interact
      with young and energetic future Naval and Marine Corps Officers. We can have an impact in their
      life by setting a good example in the physical training field and in the classroom. MECEP’s in the
      University of Memphis NROTC program are integrated in many of the activities that the students in
      the Company are involved in. We are involved in the University of Memphis NROTC drill team,
      NROTC softball team, NROTC Endurance Team, and are always involved in running races, such as
      the Marine Corps Marathon and the LCpl. Timothy Kreager Memorial 5K, to build comradeship
      within the Company. Life never has a dull moment when you are part of a tight unit as we are in
      the University of Memphis NROTC.
             The process of applying to the MECEP program can be long and stringent. There are many
      active duty Marines that apply to the program and typically less than half of the applicants get
      selected. One has to be well qualified in order to be a competitive candidate for the program. One
      of the major problems is that the program is not promoted to the Marines in the Fleet Marine
      Force. It is one of the well kept secrets in the Marine Corps.
                    Once a Marine is selected to the program, the transformation from a Fleet Marine to a
      college student begins. The Marine Corps prepares its Marines very well in order to ensure that
      when the Marine is in college he will be successful. Some Marines have previous college credits
      and some are starting from the beginning. Whatever the case may be, every Marine is introduced
      to college at MECEP Preparatory School/BOOST in Quantico, VA. The program is about eight to
      nine weeks long and refreshes the Marines with basic Math, English, and Science classes. The
      instructors are college Professors who are paid to make sure that the Marine is well refreshed at
      the end of the course. This program is very helpful for Marines who have not been in a school
      environment for years and also helps to build relationships and comradeship with all the other
      MECEP selection Marines. These relationships last a long time and are very helpful for the next
      summer when they will all be attending Officer Candidate School.
             With all the challenges that Marines face in the Operating Forces being a college student
      should be a breeze. Being in college and also a member of the NROTC is very demanding at times.
      The typical day begins with very physically demanding exercise at about 0600. The day is just
      beginning because normal day to day operations have to be completed. Do not forget about all the
      classes that we have to attend and the homework that college students are given. A day in the
      Operating Forces could start around 0500 for physical training but one knows that the end of the
      day is usually 1630. This is not the case in college. We still go home and complete daily readings
      for our classes or homework assignments that are due the next day.
                    The amount of stress that is encountered in college could never be compared to the
      stress in combat but it is a good tool for preparation to the hard times to come in the military. Life
      could be as hard and challenging as it gets, but the reward of earning a Commission in the United
      States Marine Corps and subsequently leading the sons and daughters of America is priceless.
Semper Fi,                                                                                               18
SSgt Javier A. Larrea
                  Tiger Criuse
                  Committee Chairman

                  Tiger Cruise
                  Committee Member

                  Tiger Cruise
                  Committee Advisor

The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
 The University of Memphis
The Tiger Cruise, Spring 2009
 The University of Memphis

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