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Profession of Arms

Sailors engaged in the V-12 program had to learn general military procedures and what it meant to be a U.S. Navy Officer. This type of curriculum was referred to as the Profession of Arms. Cadre appointed Student Leaders in order to simulate the military chain of command and facilitate leadership skills. This allowed cadets to serve in supervisory roles over peers in order to simulate the type of situation they would encounter as officers.

At MSTC, Student Leaders were stratified in a chain of command with Battalion Commander on top, supported by three Company Commanders, who each oversaw two platoons. MSTC was organized into one battalion of three companies, or six platoons.  In order to serve in one of these leadership positions, Sailors were required to earn a GPA of at least 6.0 and to try out for the position. To become the Battalion Commander, a Sailor had to serve in each of the lower roles, master the basic Sailors' manual and be proficient at military drill.

An additional duty assigned as part of their military training was Watch Duty. While on watch, the Sailors were responsible for security checks and fire prevention; they sounded the alarm in case of emergency or disturbance. Shifts were manned from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Monday to Friday and noon to 6:00 a.m. on the weekends. Duty rosters were posted in each of the dormitories; it was the individual Sailor’s responsibility to check for his shift.

Failure to report for watch met with disciplinary action. On one occasion, three sailors who missed watch were assigned twenty hours of extra duty. Chief Sousa, responsible for disciplinary actions, let them off easy. Rather than requiring that they serve the full twenty hours, he ordered them to clean and prepare seventy pheasants for a banquet.