Snellville native participates in NROTC ship selection draft

By Navy Office of Community Outreach

Navy Midshipman Asante McCalla from Snellville, Georgia, participated in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) ship selection draft as a future member of the U.S. Navy’s Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community.

More than 280 midshipmen at 70 Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) units around the country have selected to serve in the Navy as surface warfare officers. Each selecting midshipman is ranked according to his or her grade point average, aptitude scores, and physical fitness.

McCalla, attends Atlanta Region NROTC, which is located in the historic west end of Atlanta and is comprised of two jointly commanded Battalions, one sponsored by Georgia Tech and the other by Morehouse College. 

“Though Morehouse College is the host, there are students in the program that are enrolled into Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University,” said McCalla. “Atlanta offers midshipmen with a unique opportunity to pick from a multitude of disciplines of academic study as well as provides an extremely diverse population of individuals to network with.” 

According to their rankings, each midshipman provided their 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.

“The SWO Ship Selection process, means that I have been chosen to serve alongside our nation's toughest, smartest and most courageous leaders,” said McCalla. 

McCalla, a 2012 Parkview High School graduate, has selected to serve aboard the USS Lake Erie (CG 70). McCalla is attending Atlanta Region NROTC and majoring in sociology. Upon graduation, King will receive a commission as a Navy Ensign and report aboard Lake Erie as a surface warfare officer.

Homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Lake Erie is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser that performs primarily in a battle force role. Cruisers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier battle groups, amphibious forces or operating independently as a flagship of surface action groups.

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

“This is an exciting day,” said Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), which oversees the NROTC program. “We have some of the finest talent in our nation and we have the opportunity to marry them up with some of our finest teams in our fleet.”

Evans also told the midshipmen that should be excited, because they have a great future ahead of them on some of the Navy’s best platforms around the world.

While NROTC units are spread out across the country and vary in size, they all teach midshipmen the values, standards, abilities and responsibility that it takes to become a Navy officers and lead this nation's sons and daughters in protecting freedom on the seven seas.

“The NROTC program has helped me expand my horizons of what it takes to be a professional naval officer,” said McCalla. “There have been very subtle and direct applications such as serving as a midshipmen, and more indirect such as mentoring junior midshipmen and recruiting for NROTC programs. It has helped me to understand the true meaning of being an officer and its complexities.”

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