Pacific Ocean - The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) hosted college professors and other high-level educators from across the country August 4, in an effort to introduce opportunities available to college students pursuing engineering and nuclear programs.
Theodore Roosevelt stepped away from its regular tour route, calling on the Propulsion Plant Department to host these engineering and nuclear field professionals.
"It's not normal that we do the [distinguished visitor] tour," said Lt. Kent B. Green, a Reactor Department division officer assigned to Theodore Roosevelt. "It was good to allow Reactor Department to give them a brief overview of what we do."
Green joined the Navy through the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program, which provides college students the opportunity to pursue nuclear engineering within the Navy.
"What Reactor [Department] wanted to do was really help give those professors a better idea of what you actually do once you join the Navy under the NUPOC program," said Green.
Green addressed the significance of having someone you trust, such as these professors and mentors, to be able to talk about programs, such as NUPOC, and provide insight on the opportunities students may not know exist.
"It's not that they consider it and they don't do it," said Gary Pertmer, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland while visiting Theodore Roosevelt. "I think too many, certainly at the college level, probably even coming fresh out of high school, don't realize the opportunities that exist."
One obstacle the Navy faces when communicating with students is preconceptions students have of what the Navy does according to Amy Bass, employer relations program manager at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"I think when students see the uniform, they just think 'It's the U.S. Navy. I'm just joining to swab the decks,'" said Bass. "These are wonderful opportunities and I think it's just a lack of understanding and awareness of that."
Bass stressed the importance of the leadership training and confidence building the Navy provides that is often left out working desk jobs in the private sector.
"At first I didn't know what to expect," said Bass. "I didn't know if people would want to be bothered with questions or if they would be too busy, but everyone let us know what they're working on and how they got here. It's just been an overwhelming experience in the best possible way."
The college educators received an education of their own from Chief Warrant Officer Charles Sullivan. Sullivan led the group through a masters-level discussion of the emergency diesel generators on several topics to include horsepower and cylinder capacities and how they correspond to civilian train engines. Sullivan demonstrated 26 years of navy experience with his ability to combine technical details with practical application in an understandable form.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is conducting its final pre-deployment evaluation to ensure safe and effective coordination within the strike group to achieve mission readiness and the ability to effectively execute the Navy's maritime strategy.
Following the successful completion of COMPUTEX, the TRCSG will conduct worldwide operations in its upcoming deployment.
TRCSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group - 9 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 staff, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW 17), and the DESRON 23 ships; the guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Sampson (DDG 102), as well as the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).