Homeport Night is held to help provide midshipmen who have selected ships homeported in Japan information about Japanese culture.
“The purpose of this event is to offer the opportunity for the midshipmen to talk with officers who have been in Japan, share their stories, and help remove their anxiety before going to Japan,” said Lt. Cmdr. Hironori Tamura, Seamanship and Navigation instructor.
Several SWOs stationed at the academy attended the event and shared advice on where to live, available activities, cost of living, and many other details of interest to midshipmen living overseas for the first time.
“This is going to be their first time moving out of the Naval Academy environment and living the real Navy life,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Culpepper, Seamanship and Navigation instructor. “So not only are they dealing with that, but they are also moving to a new country.”
Cmdr. Masato Murakoshi, Languages and Culture Department instructor, reminded the midshipmen in attendance of the important role the U.S. played when Japan was hit by the severe earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Murakoshi shared a video highlighting the aid the U.S. military provided to the people of Japan.
Midshipman 1st Class Vianey Gomez previously lived in Japan as a child. He said he is eager to return and experience Japan from a different point of view.
“My dad was stationed in Japan when I was a kid, but now it is going to be a completely different experience for me,” said Gomez. “Having been there as a kid and now returning in uniform is going to be really rewarding and will give me a totally different view of the way of life and culture.”
With their time at the Naval Academy drawing to a close, the midshipmen preparing to graduate are ready to start their career overseas.
“My time here has been great, but I am so excited to graduate and get to the ship,” said Baker.