The world melts from its icy slumber to bring forth new life. So too, is new life introduced to the academies.
Talent evaluators line the facilities, mercilessly and meticulously jotting down whatever information they can. A process that would last a month’s time. Talent would be pulled from the vast pool and be assigned to their proper posts.
Perhaps the most bewildering aspect of this was the juxtaposition of green new blood next to polished veteran leadership. No one was excluded from the harsh gaze of the evaluators.
Crews would be assigned, 25 per vessel.
Cpt. JT Realmuto found himself surrounded by unfamiliar faces. While the young recruits were located in another facility, some of the strongest prospects found themselves right alongside the commanding officers.
Aside the young future stood officers from other fleets trying to find one more shot at glory. All groups maintained one goal: get in shape, physically and mentally.
Now, during this time it was normal for other fleets to come in and run training missions together. Friendly simulations of much more serious competitions yet to come were always a sign of early spring.
Realmuto found himself working closely with 2 individuals the most. Never seeing time as a commanding officer, but always around when needed was Lieutenant Andrew Knapp. Former Miami Lieutenant Rob Brantly would be the one gunning to replace Knapp.
All 3 showed great things to talent evaluators. Realmuto showed why such a steep price was paid to Miami for him. Knapp once again stuck around, this time with some extra guts.
Brantly ended up the tough luck loser. Although he impressed, it was’t enough to stay with the main fleet.
This wasn’t Realmuto’s first spring with Brantly. In 2014, they both stayed with the lesser fleets. Realmuto knew that feeling, but hoped to see Brantly again.
Spring training was a time of great job and some disappointment. It’s funny. Some say Spring Training doesn’t even matter. Others say it’s a huge part to any officer or cadet’s career. For many, it’s an opportunity.
Luckily for Realmuto, he already had his opportunity and now all he had to do was make good on it.
Part 3 coming soon, read part 1 here
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports