The University of Wisconsin – Madison NROTC Student Orientation Week (SOW) period is structured to provide entry-level familiarity with military life and the NROTC Program in particular. It is not a boot camp or a weeding out period. The adjustment to a military environment can be stressful and SOW will aid in familiarizing new students with this challenging, yet rewarding experience. New students are not expected to emerge from this training as fully polished military members. They are expected to establish a solid foundation for the learning, growth and opportunities that the next four years will present.
Specifically, SOW affords the opportunity for issuance of uniforms; basic indoctrination in Navy uniform regulations and grooming standards; an introduction to basic military customs, courtesies, traditions, and organization; acquisition of basic competency in military drill; physical fitness testing and training; and instruction in the privileges and benefits of participation in the NROTC program and responsibilities as Midshipmen.
During SOW, new students, as well as upperclassmen, participate in many activities with each other. New students should expect to participate in some, or all of the following: physical fitness training, introduction to drill, classes on military customs, history and proper uniform wear, and swim qualifications. Safety is paramount during SOW. All of the training at SOW is carefully scrutinized to eliminate any needless risk. Members of the UW-Madison NROTC staff are with the new students every step of the way. The purpose of SOW is to motivate by example, demonstrating excellence through leadership.
Finally, while SOW is a serious event, there is also time for fun. Once acclimated to their new roles and responsibilities, new students begin to develop a special “esprit de corps” and sense of fraternity with their fellow midshipmen, and an appreciation and pride for the history and traditions of the naval service. This bond of trust and teamwork that accompany it are the mark of all professional officers.
Due to the many schedule demands on university students during the school year, SOW provides an invaluable opportunity to train. If you have specific questions regarding SOW, please do not hesitate to contact us. New Students are expected to be within Navy and Marine Corps physical fitness and grooming standards upon arrival at SOW.