Under the direction of the commanding officer, Captain Mark Edwards, USN, the Naval Science staff at Holy Cross includes five to seven officers and enlisted personnel who teach, mentor and train approximately 65 midshipmen in the Holy Cross NROTC unit. The unit is comprised of students from College of the Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester State University, and Brown University. The battalion is divided into companies and led by the midshipman battalion commander, a fourth-year student who is chosen for outstanding leadership qualities.
Leadership has been an important tenet of the Naval Science program since its founding in 1941. More than 15 Holy Cross graduates have earned the high-level ranks of flag and general officers in the Navy, Army and Marine Corps. Exemplifying the selflessness demanded by military service, Holy Cross alumni have received three Medals of Honor, four Navy Crosses and 18 Silver Stars. The late Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., ’49, the longest-serving president of the College and himself a World War II veteran, firmly supported military training at Holy Cross, saying “I think it’s extremely important that the armed forces have leadership that’s been trained in the liberal arts. They have a sense of history and are able to articulate and have good moral judgment.”