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Thread: Midshipman Questions
07-26-12, 02:11 PM #1
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
I'm a former Pool(ee) out of RSS Fairfield, CA. I had just sworn into the DEP when I spoke with the XO at RS San Francisco. He advised me because of my 99 AFQT and high SAT scores to sign up for the NROTC and Frederick C. Branch scholarships (he is in charge of the scholarship program for RS San Francisco). A couple months and a lot of PT and trips to MEPS later, I was awarded the Frederick C. Branch scholarship. I was discharged from the Pool and am currently a Midshipman 4/C Candidate until I complete my Orientation week on 18 AUG. Sorry for putting Pool(ee) as my status but I figured it's closest to what I really am (though I suppose technically I'm a nasty civilian for the next couple weeks ). I head out for Washington, D.C. on 9 AUG from CA.
Background info aside, I had a couple questions I wanted to ask about being a Midshipman (don't really want to ask my superiors in D.C., Midshipmen Candidates should be seen and not heard, etc.) and figured someone here should be knowledgeable.
1.) As a NROTC Marine Option Midshipman, am I considered to be a Marine? I will wear the EGA on my uniform, have dress blues, etc...I am just asking if I earn the title when I swear in as a Midshipman, or if I have to wait until I get my butter bars pinned after my senior year of college to be able to call myself a Marine. If someone asks me what I am, after 18 AUG, am I free to say "a Marine?"
2.) This next question is a touchy one, and I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. I'm asking this for no purpose other than to be knowledgeable and squared away, not because I'm some power hungry "Sobel" (Band of Brothers). I just want to make sure I am equipped with the proper info so I can make the best impression possible on my behalf, and on behalf of the Corps.
Question: Where, exactly, within the rank structure does a Midshipman stand? Obviously I'm subordinate to all officers, but where does my rank stand next to Enlisted personnel? I know as a Midshipman I will not be doing personnel management with Enlisted Marines, only within my own NROTC unit and NJROTC units nearby. Whose orders should I follow, though? I assume a Private or PFC can't give me orders, but can a sergeant? Who do I technically outrank, and who outranks me?
I also ask for the sake of fraternization. I know as an officer I will follow fraternization regs. How far do those go? I have several old friends from the DEP from RSS Fairfield who are, ironically or fortuitously being stationed in D.C./Quantico also. Can I stop by and say "what's up" to these Marines, or is that off limits?
Thank you for your help.
07-26-12, 03:24 PM #2
1. No you are NOT a Marine nor will you be until commissioned a 2d Lieutenant of Marines at the end of your NROTC program. You will not wear the EGA (except on utilities) until commissioning. If you drop or flunk out, you cannot ever claim to have been a Marine, just an ex-NROTC middie.
2. Middies are considered somewhere around an E-5 as far as enlisted are concerned. No salutes are rated. Basically as a fourth classman, you are a nothing in the NROTC scheme of things and should be happy if an enlisted person is polite to you.
3. They should teach you all of this during your orientation after Aug 18.
07-26-12, 04:01 PM #3
07-26-12, 04:01 PM #4
To piggy back what Zulu posted...
1. NO, NO, and NO you are not considered a Marine until the day you graduate and commission as a 2nd Lt.
2. Although you are a midshipmen and a potential officer, you hold no rank or authority over any Marine, not even a Private. Although I don't believe you'd ever have to take any sort of order or instruction from anything under a Sgt. If you were though you need to give the proper respect that they deserve. You need to remember they have earned their title as Marine, you have not. Any Marine technically out ranks you.
As for the fraternization thing, I am not sure how that would really work. I would imagine you would be advised to stay away from them even though it technically wouldn't be considered fraternization.
07-26-12, 04:04 PM #5
oh and I am not trying to be an a$$ but you are not an 0302, that is a slap in the face to all the real infantry officers out there. IOC is considered one of the hardest training courses in the Corps.
07-26-12, 04:26 PM #6
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it. All your answers were very informative and helpful. I don't purport to understand your point of view, as that would be ignorant, but suffice it to say I see why you might not be fond of Midshipmen. I meant no harm, and I don't have a chip on my shoulder; I figure that we can all agree that it's better for me to be knowledgeable and squared away if one day I do make it and am bestowed with the privilege to lead this nation's finest.
josephd, I mean no disrespect. Rather, quite the opposite: I hold 0302 as my goal, and I will give my all to achieve it. I don't mean to slap Infantry Officers in the face, and I don't mean to say that I've earned that title. It should be considered a compliment: I may not have earned the privilege to have an opinion that is valued, but my opinion holds these men in the highest regard. I put all my effort forth to one day earn that title, just as I put all my effort forth to earn the title of Marine.
Thanks again all.
07-26-12, 05:44 PM #7
Son, a little different approach.
Where do you fall in the rank structure? You don't. You havenít taken an oath, you are no different than a ďcadet.Ē
Does a private have to treat you like an officer? No. youíre not an officer. Midshipman used to be a rank but it ainít no more.
Donít think you outrank NCOs cause you donít. you wanna be a good officer? Listen and learn from your ncos. They know what they are talking about and if you want to do good show respect. It will take you a long ways. Youre not entitled to a salute so donít expect one. As far as fraternization goes as far as I am concerned itís not about if you can but do enlisted people even want to fraternize and be around a plebe but thatís my opinion.
See if this helps you out
From COMMANDANT OF MIDSHIPMEN INSTRUCTION 5400.6M - MIDSHIPMAN REGULATIONS MANUAL
3.8 MIDSHIPMEN-ENLISTED PERSONNEL RELATIONSHIP
1. Personal relationships between Midshipmen and enlisted members that are unduly familiar because they do not respect differences in grade, rank, or position of authority and are prejudicial to good order and discipline are prohibited.
2. Midshipmen shall:
a. Obey lawful orders given by enlisted personnel acting as instructors.
b. Maintain a proper professional relationship with enlisted members at all times.
3. Midshipmen shall not date, have sexual relations, or otherwise fraternize with enlisted personnel.
4. There is no exception to this regulation in the case of pre-existing relationships prior to entry to the Naval Academy.
5. Midshipmen may have enlisted members act as their sponsors under the Plebe Sponsor Program.
07-27-12, 03:09 AM #8
BOOTS, Newbies, FNG's, Butterbars,Goldbrickers,Skives,Skates,Sleezes,
all kinds of terms that dont jump to the front of my memory right now..
Hopefully, you'll get better at what you do, IF YOU LIVE long enough to do much of it...
Butterbars most usually come out fast , furrious, hot and heavy...To a world and workplace
that s Loaded with everyone there with More Experience than they have..( Think About it)
It's all about Paying Attention.
Good luck with it.
07-27-12, 06:40 AM #9
Aren't "midshipmen" people who deliver babies?
Sorry; actually we should be glad this young man is not afraid to ask questions of people who have gone before him. Would we rather he just acted like he knew it all (like a lot of young officers and wannabes)? Hope these grouchy old coots helped you out some.
"Good luck, kid, you're gonna need it!" Garth McCann
07-27-12, 04:25 PM #10
07-27-12, 10:38 PM #11
Thank you all for your answers and your time, I appreciate you taking the time to help out a FNG like myself. I appreciate you shooting me straight, and I appreciate the "good luck."
I may not know anything, but I do know enough to understand that the NCOs and Staff NCOs are the heart, soul, and knife hands of the Corps. If the Marine Corps is a story, I'm not the protagonist; I'm a support role for those enlisted men who make the Corps breathe. Taking the time to pass down your knowledge will ensure I can support them most effectively. This isn't about me, I get that.
Thanks again, you've all helped.
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