Unit Activities

Physical Training

Midshipmen participating in physical activity

The Northwestern battalion typically meets up to three times a week in the early morning for physical training. Each midshipman strives to keep their body healthy and at peak physical status.  Physical Training varies per session, focusing on certain body areas every time. Exercises include: calisthenics, upper body training, core training, leg training, run days, and (in certain occasions) general sports play. Throughout the school year there are physical competitions against NROTC units at other universities that give midshipmen a chance to challenge themselves and build camaraderie. 

Naval Science Class


As future leaders, midshipmen must be knowledgeable in the culture, standards, technology and strategy of our Navy and Marine Corps. Led by a qualified Naval instructor, Naval Science classes are held in a classroom setting, comprised of lectures, discussions, assignments, essays, quizzes and examinations. Naval Science classes also allow midshipmen to improve their written communication skills, fundamental abilities needed as a leader. 

Naval Science Lab


Once a week, midshipmen wear their uniforms and meet as a battalion with the unit staff to discuss current events in our United States Military, the United States, and the world. This discourse allows midshipmen to have an insight to worldwide culture, how such culture affects them and those around them, and how they will be able to change the situation as leaders. In certain labs, we invite guest speakers from the Navy or Marine Corps to share experiences with the battalion and enlighten midshipmen on career choices within the commissioned officer paths. Naval Science Lab also includes administrative duties, uniform inspections, and general military trainings.

Drill Squad

Midshipmen are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the military standard of drill and ceremony. Drill is the procedure of marching within a squad or platoon, displaying sharp movements and attention to detail as a unit. The focus of the rifle drill squad is to promote the military custom of drill, harvest camaraderie within the team, and participate in drill competitions against other NROTC units nationwide.

Color Guard

The Color Guard refers to the detail of military servicemembers that handles the flawless presentation and protection of the national ensigns (flags). A team of midshipmen carries the national colors and rifles in order to perform and render honors to our nation. The Color Guard Team participates in nationwide drill meets. Occasionally, the team is requested by Evanston and Chicago to present the colors in the event of a ceremony where the national anthem is played. Such events include: sporting events, Memorial Day services, Veteran's Day services, etc. 

Endurance Team


The endurance team (commonly referred to as the E-Team) is a group of motivated midshipmen determined to push the limits of their physical capabilities. In addition to the morning Physical Training sessions, they hold their own PT sessions composed of the most strenuous training regiments to test their strength. The culmination of a term with E-Team leads to an endurance course at a drill meet, which commonly comprises running with your team a distance of 13+ miles, with a physical obstacle or challenge to overcome at every mile, while carrying gear amounting to 50+ pounds. It is the ultimate physical challenge for midshipmen.

Military Ball


During the annual Military Ball, Northwestern NROTC (combined with its sister battalion Illinois Institute of Technology NROTC) and their civilian dates, get together for a formal event to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, hear addresses from military leaders, and spend the night celebrating military tradition and culture. Usually a high-ranking officer from our Navy or Marine Corps is selected to speak as the Guest of Honor at our ceremony. The ceremony is followed by a formal dinner and dancing into the night. 


Dining-In is a formal event which includes a dinner, drinking, and other events to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps. Unlike Military Ball, personal guests are not allowed because of the emphasis of camaraderie between military members only. Dining-In is a long-standing military tradition designed to be a night of fun between members of a military unit. Midshipmen and staff take part in various military traditions including the ability to publicly fine each other for breaches in etiquette, and a round of traditional toasts.