The U.S. Naval Academy hosted a “Homeport Night” for the class of 2015’s future Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) in Luce Hall Jan. 21.
Homeport Night was an opportunity for the SWOs on the Yard to share with midshipmen the advantages and opportunities that each of the surface navy ship homeports provide, and to offer advice on where to live, available activities, cost of living, and many other details that the midshipmen may not be thinking about.
Next week on Jan. 29th, USNA will host the annual Ship Selection Night, where approximately 250 midshipmen who are assigned to the surface warfare community will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of available homeports including Mayport, Fla.; Norfolk, Va.; San Diego; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Everett, Wash.; Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan; Manama, Bahrain; and Rota, Spain.
“Each homeport offers different lifestyle and mission opportunities, and we are able to answer their questions and broaden their view as they choose where to go first,” said Lt. Andrew George Ross Marsh, Seamanship and Navigation instructor at the Naval Academy.
Surface warfare officers and instructors from around the Yard attended Homeport Night, offering advice and answering any and all questions that the midshipmen had about the future of their careers in the Navy and what to expect before they pick their ship.
“The officers who attended provided a lot of good information that the midshipmen don't normally think about,” said Marsh. “Questions like: What is the housing market like in San Diego? How long is the traffic to get on the base? If I get married, do I qualify for military housing? It gives us the chance to shine a light on new places they may not have considered.”
The goal is to ensure every midshipman picking a ship has made an informed choice based on all of the variables, and it is a unique opportunity for experienced SWOs to provide information and mentorship to the midshipmen before they choose a particular ship and homeport.
“Every homeport is going to provide these new Ensigns with an amazing adventure,” said Marsh. "We are just trying to provide them with guidance and widen their perspective so that they have all the facts when they climb onto that stage to pick their first ship.”