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All You Need to Know About Being a Midshipman

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All graduates of the United States Naval Academy have a 100% rate of employment after graduation. Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree and are commissioned as Ensigns in the U.S. Navy. Do you want to join the military as a midshipman?

Being a midshipman is an honorable job. If you’re willing to dedicate time and effort this could be the perfect career for you. Discover what it takes to begin this rewarding career and all the training requirements for becoming a successful member of the Naval Service.

Not only will you get to serve your country but you also have access to cutting-edge technology exclusive to Navy personnel. You’ll receive benefits such as great pay and health insurance while encountering wonderful new opportunities each day on the job.

If you have goals and dreams of becoming a midshipman, then read on. Learn all you need to know about becoming a midshipman and what a typical day looks like.

What Is a Midshipman?

A midshipman is an officer rank in the United States Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Marine Corps. It is typically held by students at the U.S. Naval Academy and other training programs.

Midshipmen are responsible for learning important skills related to their roles such as navigation and engineering. Their duties can include planning battle strategies and tactics.

Midshipman Duties

There are various duties that you might have to undergo as a Midshipman. This is a short list of typical roles you’ll have to fulfill on a daily basis throughout your training.

  • Participating in battle planning strategies and tactics
  • Attending Midshipman classes and training
  • Learning navigation and engineering skills
  • Leading shipboard activities, such as drills, watch assignments, and divisions
  • Supervising the ship’s crew during tactical situations
  • Serving as a mentor to the junior officers
  • Coordinating communication between ships and supporting vessels
  • Conducting shipboard inspections to ensure safety standards are met

Midshipman Salary

Midshipmen are part of the United States Navy and attend the Naval Academy on a full scholarship in exchange for five years of active-duty service upon graduation.

They enjoy many benefits, including free tuition, room and board, medical and dental care costs, access to military commissaries and exchanges, discounts on commercial transportation and lodging, and the ability to fly space-available in military aircraft around the world.

They receive a monthly salary of $1,185, after deductions such as laundry, barber, cobbler, activities fees, and yearbook costs. During Plebe Summer, Midshipmen will receive an additional $75 per month, and then $125 for the rest of their first year. This payment increases each subsequent year.

Midshipman Training

Training to become a Midshipman is intense but rewarding. Here is a summary of how life as a Midshipman will pan out.


Orientation is the first step to becoming a midshipman in the United States Navy or Marine Corps. During orientation, new midshipmen receive instruction in policies, basic drills, uniform standards, and physical readiness.

You are given tours of active ships, aircraft squadrons, submarines, and Marine security detachments so they can see firsthand what your future in the Navy or Marine Corps may look like.

Once orientation is complete, midshipmen are expected to perform duties befitting a military officer. Midshipmen are responsible for studying and learning about naval science, weapons systems, tactics, and ship operations. You must also fulfill rigorous physical fitness requirements.

Freshman Year

Becoming a midshipman requires dedication and hard work. During your first year, midshipmen are expected to become familiar with military knowledge and history through classes. You are also encouraged to develop physical readiness through drill sessions and physical training.

This year is built on establishing the Midshipman routine. You will also need to learn the basics of college life with the help of your advisors and peers in order to make a successful transition to college.


CORTRAMID is an acronym for “Career Orientation and Training of Midshipmen”.

CORTRAMID is a program designed to introduce midshipmen to the different warfare communities within the Department of the Navy. During your four-week period, midshipmen will get hands-on experience on a surface ship, with an aviation squadron, on a submarine, and with the Marines.

This experience provides you with an opportunity to explore different career paths and gain valuable insight into the naval service. Midshipmen are also required to complete a series of other summer cruises.

Sophomore Year

Once a person has made the decision to become a midshipman, they must swear in at the beginning of their sophomore year. At this point, there is no turning back. If you leave the program, you will be required to repay any scholarship money that was granted.

Junior Year

During your Junior year, you will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Battalion and organizing events. You will continue to learn unarmed drills and enhance your physical abilities to ensure you are ready for Officer Candidate School.

First Class Cruise

Navy Option midshipmen are required to attend a first-class cruise to gain insight into the life of a junior officer. This cruise can be done onboard a ship, submarine, or with an aviation squadron at sea or ashore.

Senior Year

Senior year is an exhilarating time for midshipmen as they hold important leadership roles that influence the success of the unit. Additionally, first-class midshipmen make decisions regarding which community they will join in the Navy.


Commissioning marks the start of a new journey. Newly-commissioned officers take what they have learned and apply it to their career in the Naval Fleet. Ensigns and Second Lieutenants embark on their next post following commissioning.

Thinking of Becoming a Midshipman?

Becoming a Midshipman is an exciting and rewarding career. With dedication, hard work, and guidance from experienced officers you can achieve your goals of joining the Navy or Marine Corps.

If you have any questions about becoming a Midshipman or would like more information on what it takes to join the military please reach out to us today.