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From Navy Office of Community Outreach

(MILLINGTON, Tenn.) – Navy Midshipman Devin Purchase, from Accokeek, Maryland, participated in the 2020 spring Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) ship selection draft as a future member of the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community.

More than 270 midshipmen from NROTC units around the country chose to serve as surface warfare officers. Each selecting midshipmen are ranked according to their grade point average, aptitude scores and physical fitness.

“NROTC has benefitted me professionally as I have been afforded the opportunity to meet and build a network with other like-minded military professionals, both enlisted and officers, within the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Purchase. “These encounters have brought me insight and knowledge of our Navy team that will follow me throughout and beyond my Navy career.”

According to their rankings, each midshipman provided a preference of ship or homeport to the junior officer detailer at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. If these preferences were available, they were assigned as requested.

“I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to put everything that I have learned to work,” said Purchase. “From standing on the bridge and leading my division to being on watch duty and going underway, I’m excited to get there and perform as part of the team.”

Purchase, a 2016 Gwynn Park High School graduate, has selected to serve aboard USS Harpers Ferry. Purchase is majoring in information science while attending University of Maryland College Park. Upon graduation, Purchase will receive a commission as a Navy Ensign and report aboard Harpers Ferry as a surface warfare officer.

Harpers Ferry is a dock landing ship used to launch landing craft such as boats and barges. The ship is currently homeported in San Diego.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

The midshipmen’s ship selection is not only a major personal milestone but also an important day for the ships in the fleet. Not only do the midshipmen choose where they are going to start their Navy career, but the ship they choose will also gain a motivated, eager, young officer to help lead and improve an already great team, according to Navy officials.

“NROTC prepares our future Surface Warfare Officers with a foundation in leadership and ethics as well as basic training in five warfighting competencies; Firefighting, Damage Control, Seamanship, Watchstanding and Small Arms Handling and Marksmanship, all essential skills on a ship,” said Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, Commander, Naval Service Training Command, which includes the NROTC Program. “I am enormously proud of our graduating midshipmen for completing this demanding program, and look forward to them joining the fleet.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Purchase, as well as others at the command, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“The SWO ship selection process to me means the next, and first, memorable part of my journey in life as a Navy officer,” added Purchase. “No matter what ship I select, I know that my training has prepared me to walk into my new command and perform my billet with the utmost professional standards.”


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...