MIT Navy ROTC Midshipmen Volunteer at Boy Scouts Merit Badge University

MIT Navy ROTC Midshipmen Volunteer at Boy Scouts Merit Badge University

As our students enjoy their winter break during the IAP period, we reflect on the fall semester and have selected an event to feature in this newsletter.

Scouts and midshipmen saluting
MIT midshipmen at BSA Merit Badge University. Photo: Erik Blankenship

Highlighting the Unit’s commitment to community service, several midshipmen and the Marine Officer Instructor volunteered to participate for the first time at the Boy Scouts of America’s Merit Badge University (MBU). Sponsored by the BSA’s Spirit of Adventure Council, this event was hosted by MIT on October 29. According to their website, “the Spirit of Adventure Council serves Boston and 75 other Massachusetts communities…and supports about 13,000 Scouts and 5,000 volunteers.” MBU is traditionally a day-long event where leaders and community volunteers come together to offer Scouts the opportunity to earn merit badges. This year, over 30 merit badges were taught to more than 200 Scouts. Eagle Scout and MIT’s Director of the Edgerton Center, Project Manus, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering J. Kim VanDiver was in attendance with Battalion members.

Planning efforts remain ongoing here at the Old Ironsides Battalion for what promises to be a very busy and exciting spring semester. In continuing with the Battalion’s community service, several midshipmen and staff members will participate in a local Build Day at Habitat for Humanity in February.

In January and February, officer instructors and several midshipmen will travel to the US Naval Academy and Notre Dame University for Naval Leadership Conferences. They will gain invaluable educational and professional experiences while interacting with their fellow Navy peers from across the country. Within the next few months, two rear admirals will visit the unit, providing students an opportunity to learn more about the nuclear, aviation, and the surface warfare communities.

Lastly, midshipmen and NROTC staff are currently involved in the organization of two capstone events. The MIT ROTC Joint Services Military Ball on March 1 will enable midshipmen and staff to enjoy the company of their constituents from Air Force and Army ROTC. Midshipmen and cadets will receive their commissions as officers in their respective service branches on May 30 at the MIT ROTC Joint Services Commissioning Ceremony. We are looking forward to an amazing and extremely active semester!

—Lisa Breen, MIT Navy ROTC