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All Freshmen and Sophomores as well as Juniors taking the Naval R.O.T.C. course have been instructed by letter to apply for admission to the summer training cruise this year. In the past the cruise has been compulsory only for Juniors, although less advanced men have been urged to join.
The letter sent to N.R.O.T.C. students states that "men who have other plans for the early summer may have to make some sacrifice of personal plans or financial gain in the interest of the national defense and of their own efficiency."
Can't Learn Ashore
"It must be emphasized that there are important phases of a naval officer's training that cannot be obtained ashore," the letter continues. "The opportunity for the Naval R.O.T.C. student to obtain this training afloat exists in the summer practice cruises."
When the course is completed, those who have taken three cruises will have no higher rank than those who have taken only one. However, it is expected that the latter will not turn out as well as the more experienced officers during the two years of active duty after graduation.
In addition to the instruction given Freshmen and Sophomores about the summer cruise, the letter warned that "unless there is a great improvement in world-wide conditions, each Naval R.O.T.C. student should make plans now for active duty afloat after graduation."
Although the department hopes for a much better score this year, last summer only 50% of the student unit signed up for berths on the summer cruise. Yale sent a much larger proportion of Freshmen and Sophomores than did Harvard.
Judging from past assignment, Juniors this year may expect to board destroyers for their summer training, while students in the two lower classes will probably weigh anchor on battleships. It is not known as yet whether the bases recently acquired from the British will be visited.
R.O.T.C. men will be rotated among a large number of duties in order to acquaint them with all the complicated workings of modern naval vessels. They will serve in the ranks, as section leaders and division officers, deckmen, signalmen, steersmen, engineers, navigation officers, and gunners.
Two years ago the Harvard unit scored the second best mark for gunnery in competition with colleges all over the U. S. Last year they were not so successful.
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