All Hands on Deck

Midshipmen dressed in seaman uniforms heave on a line aboard a battleship in the 1940s
Midshipmen on the upper deck of the USS Missouri, BB 63, gain firsthand experience with the important skill of line handling as they bring the ship into port during a sea and anchor detail in Portsmouth, England, in 1949. PHOTO: DIGITAL LIBRARY @ VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

During this 1949 summer cruise to Portsmouth, England, members of Villanova’s Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program were among the midshipmen from around the country to receive hands-on instruction in ship handling, navigation and basic seamanship while they crossed the Atlantic. An essential component of NROTC training that continues until this day, these cruises go far beyond the execution of specific tasks and exercises.  

At Villanova, the NROTC program prepares future naval officers in mind, body and character. And every summer, midshipmen from all backgrounds and majors get to experience military service firsthand and put their leadership skills to practice as they embark to destinations near and far—from Quantico, Va., to San Diego, Calif., and Amman, Jordan.


One of the longest-established and most well-respected NROTC programs in the country, Villanova has produced 32 admirals and generals in the US Navy and Marine Corps.


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