The Midshipman cruise, also known as the 'snotty cruise', was a midshipman's first mission after completing the academic part of his officer training.
As midshipmen, the former cadets were already officers, but their abilities were traditionally put to the test under real conditions in order to find out how good they really were. If a midshipman failed on the snotty cruise, there was little chance for him or her to ever be given an active commission. (SI1)
Ship's captains formally endorsed a "pass" grade on the cruise by completing a Form S-One-Sixty. Completing the cruise qualified a candidate for permanent promotion to Ensign, which the ship's captain had the authority to grant. (HHA3.1: MMH)
While all Manticoran and Grayson midshipmen and midshipwomen are required to deploy on a cruise, a few have been specifically followed in the books. They are:
- Honor Harrington, in 1878 PD, aboard the heavy cruiser War Maiden, Captain Thomas Bachfisch commanding, deployed to Silesia; alongside Audrey Bradlaugh, Nassios Makira, and Basanta Lakhia.
- Crown Prince Michael Winton, in 1892 PD, aboard the light cruiser Intransigent, Captain Abelard Boniece commanding, deployed on a diplomatic mission to the Endicott System; alongside Astrid Heywood, Osgood Russo, Sally Pike, and Kareem Jones, among several others.
- Abigail Hearns, in 1918 PD, aboard the heavy cruiser Gauntlet, Captain Michael Oversteegen commanding, deployed to the Tiberian System; alongside Shobhana Korrami, Karl Aitschuler, and Arpad Grigovakis.
- Helen Zilwicki, in 1920 PD, aboard the heavy cruiser Hexapuma, Captain Aivars Terekhov commanding, deployed to the Talbott Cluster; alongside Ragnhild Pavletic, Aikawa Kagiyama, Paulo d'Arezzo and Leo Stottmeister.