New Student Orientation

Last Updated: 5 September 2013
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Please Read - Letter from Captain Wood, from September 5, 2013

Dear New Student,

On behalf of the Staff and Battalion, I would like to welcome you to the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit at Oregon State University, and take this opportunity to provide you with information about this year’s NROTC New Student Orientation (NSO).

NSO is scheduled to begin on Friday, September 19, 2013 at 0800 (8:00 am) in the Naval Armory near the corner of 26th and Washington Way.  Please plan to arrive no later than 0815 (8:15 am).  NSO will end on Friday, September 26 afternoon at an official swearing-in and BBQ for students and their guests. BBQ will be held at the Naval Armory immediately following NSO graduation. Early dorm room check-in begins on September 19th for most incoming students. For those who have special circumstances, please contact the NROTC unit secretary, Ms. Plagmann at 541-737-6289.

In order to properly prepare for NSO, please use this NSO Checklist link, it includes required tasks and due dates of things to accomplish prior to arriving on campus. NSO is not designed as a screening or evaluation.  It is used to introduce you to the NROTC unit and to military customs and courtesies, and to promote a sense of class community with your contemporaries.  It also instills a mindset for professional and academic excellence.  We will challenge you both mentally and physically. A positive attitude and good level of physical fitness are essential for success.

You will need to send the paperwork items listed on the checklist for this initial phase of NSO.  Additionally, you will need to send us a Uniform Fitting form (link below).  Please fill in the measurements and sizes according to the directions given–do not just provide your sizes.  Complete and send this form as soon as possible, but mail no later than 17 July, 2014.  Please also include your original birth certificate in the packet with your uniform measurements. We will create a certified copy for you in our office.

You will also need to bring cash and/or check made out to “Taffrail“ in the amount of $110 to cover the following expenses; Unit Polo Shirt ($25) to be worn at Battalion events through the year, shirt stays ($5), and Taffrail dues of $80 per year. Taffrail is a student fund used to help offset the costs of student functions such as Battalion picnics, the Navy and Marine Corps Ball, Senior Mess Night, and the Spring Ball, to name a few.

For NROTC Scholarship midshipmen, the Navy will pay your monthly stipend via direct deposit.  If you do not already have a direct deposit account, you will need to establish one with your bank prior to arriving for NSO.  This can be accomplished by filling out the Direct Deposit Form and having your bank complete the appropriate blanks.  Mail the form to us along with the other requested materials.

The NSO program will include:

  • Introduction to physical fitness, physical fitness training, and risk reduction training.
  • Classes on the following subjects:
    • NROTC Unit and Battalion structure/Chain of Command
    • NROTC/ECP/NECP/MECEP program requirements
    • Enhancing your academic experience
    • Military courtesy and close-order drill
    • Safety at home, during recreational activities, and while driving
    • Drugs and alcohol awareness/training
    • Navy and Marine Corps Core Values, Honor Code
    • Study Habits
    • Uniform wear, preparation and maintenance
  • Individual counseling with Class Advisor and Academic Advisor.
  • Swim Test and Physical Readiness Test (USN) or Physical Fitness Test (USMC).
  • Institution learning and technology resources.
  • Introduction to small arms.
  • NSO Graduation with formal swearing in and reception.

During NSO week, physical training will start around 0530 (5:30 a.m.) and will consist of stretching and aerobic calisthenics, multiple sets of sit-ups and pushups, and several runs at a 9-minute mile pace.  I encourage you to arrive in good physical condition, able to complete a three mile run without stopping.  This Physical Readiness Guide will help prepare you for NSO.  If you are a student who is unfamiliar with physical training, I highly recommend you use this Physical Readiness Guide as a beginning fitness program prior to your arrival.

You will also take a swim test during NSO week.  The test consists of treading water for 10 minutes, demonstrating your ability to swim using three survival strokes, and an inflated clothing float.  There will be plenty of instruction and demonstrations on the proper techniques required for the test.  If you are not a strong swimmer, I would suggest that you take the time to strengthen your swimming skills at a nearby swimming pool prior to arrival.  Many of these items are required for the NROTC program. If not completed during this orientation period, they will be accomplished during the academic year.  I have found that NSO serves as an invaluable introduction for the student and can be a key to your success within the NROTC program.

When you arrive at NSO, please make sure that your parents say their “good-byes” before we start the in-processing.  Between 0800 and 0845 the staff will be available for parents if there are any unanswered questions, or if they would just like to meet some of us.  It is our hope that before they depart, they feel comfortable and confident that their students are in good hands and are ready to safely embark on their own adventure.

You are strongly encouraged to be within “regulation” grooming standards when you arrive.  For Navy option males, your hair must not touch the collar and will be tapered upward to a maximum length of four inches; the bulk of your hair must not be more than two inches high.  Conservative sideburns are authorized; sideburns will be trimmed, and will not extend past the middle of the ear.  For Marine option males, hair must not touch the collar and will be tapered upward to a maximum length of three inches.  Sideburns are not authorized.  For this training evolution, mustaches are not authorized — all attending NSO will arrive clean-shaven.  For all females, you need not cut your hair, but while in uniform you must wear it so that your hair does not fall below the lower edge of the collar.  Pigtails and ponytails are not permitted while in uniform. However, French-style braids are authorized as long as the end of the braid is neatly tucked under and out of sight.  Pins and barrettes of similar color to the individual’s hair may be worn.  If you arrive out of standards, a trip to the barber shop will be provided which will cost you $10 and valuable training time.

If you have not completed the Online Application and instruction for Dorm Housing, please do so. Arrangements have been made for early check-in  for all students who have completed this process. Please plan to arrive on the 19th (unless other arranges have been made through the NROTC office) and be advised there is an $18.00 per night charge from University Housing for each night you are checked into the dorm prior to Wednesday, September 24th.  Please contact Ms. Plagmann at 541-737-6289 or toll free at 1-888-499-6289 if you need assistance.

View the Finley Room Layout video.

The NSO schedule does not allow time for university placement exams, meeting with your academic advisors, or to schedule classes. These tasks should be accomplished prior to NSO during the OSU Student Advising and Registration Program (START).  The START program and Advance Tuition Deposit are mandatory for OSU attendance.  Please call (541) 737-7627 to register for START if you have not already done so, or if you have any questions regarding the START program.

Check out these video links for more about START and OSU.

A shuttle service is available on campus. To view the live Shuttle Route Tracker click this link.

NOTE: The university registration information states that you may also attend START during CONNECT week if you are unable to make any of the above listed dates. However, the NSO schedule does not allow time for this and prospective students are instructed to register for a date prior to the beginning of NSO.

NSO week will conclude on Friday, 26 September 2014 at approximately 1000 (10:00 am) with a graduation ceremony.  Your family is invited and encouraged to attend this event, which will be approximately one hour in length.  NSO graduation will be held at LaSells Stewart Center in the Construction & Engineering Room (C&E).  Parking is available in the Parking Garage across from the NROTC unit.  Parking passes are available at kiosks located at the south end of each level (1 – 4) and accepts cash, change, or debit/credit cards. After the graduation ceremony, there will be a BBQ at the unit at noon.  Family and students are encouraged to attend.

My unit staff senior midshipmen, officer candidates, active Marines, and I will provide all of your instruction.  Keep in mind that you are participating in an officer accession program.  More is expected and demanded of you academically, professionally, and socially as future Naval Officers and leaders than is expected of your fellow university students.  We in the military live by the ideals and concepts expressed in the Navy and Marine Corps Core Values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

I applaud your decision to become a future leader of Sailors and Marines.  If you have any questions about any aspect of the NROTC Program, call us at (toll free) 1-888-499-6289.  The NSO program coordinators are Capt Price and Ms. Plagmann who can be reached at the above toll free number or (541) 737-6289.


R. K. Wood

Captain, USN

Commanding Officer

To participate in NSO we must have the following information no later than 19 July, 2014. Please print these forms, have them filled out and send to us at the address below or FAX them to (541) 737-3183, ATTN: Ms. Plagmann.

All midshipmen Uniform Fitting Sheet (male/female) ASAP
All midshipmen Original Copy of Birth Certificate* 19 July, 2014
All midshipmen Immunization records 19 July, 2014
Scholarship midshipmen ONLY Direct Deposit Form 19 July, 2014
College Program midshipmen ONLY Report of Medical History 19 July, 2014
College Program midshipmen ONLY Sports physical results (in ADDITION to Medical History stated above) 19 July, 2014

* Faxes not accepted, please bring original birth certificate and we will make the certified copy.

Please use the NSO Checklist to make sure that you have met all deadlines and paperwork requirements for your first day at NSO. If you have any questions about the list, you may e-mail the Student Webmaster.

If you have ANY questions, please call Ms. Plagmann (541) 737-6289.  Thank you.