Westmont Native Selects U.S. Navy Ship

Westmont Native Selects U.S. Navy Ship
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Westmont, Illinois native selects U.S. Navy Ship

MILLINGTON, Tenn.) – Navy Midshipman Thomas Donnelly, from Westmont, Illinois, participated in the 2018 winter Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) ship selection draft as a future member of the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community.

More than 40 midshipmen from NROTC units around the country chose to serve as surface warfare officers. Each selecting midshipmen are ranked according to their grade point average, aptitude scores and physical fitness.

Navy Midshipman Thomas Donnelly, from Westmont, Illinois. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

Navy Midshipman Thomas Donnelly, from Westmont, Illinois. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

“NROTC here at Purdue has taught me better time management skills and really helped me to develop better discipline for myself,” Donnelly said. “This program really helped me to understand myself more, and also taught me to always strive for my best in my personal and professional life.”

According to their rankings, each midshipman provided a preference of ship or homeport to the junior officer detailer at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. If these preferences were available, they were assigned as requested.

“I really enjoyed the whole process of ship selection, especially with all the options given to me,” Donnelly said. “It is also exciting to finally know where I will be starting my naval career.”

Donnelly, a 2014 Downers Grove North High School graduate, has selected to serve aboard USS Anchorage. He is majoring in mechanical engineering technology while attending Purdue University. Upon graduation, he will receive a commission as a Navy Ensign and report aboard Anchorage as a surface warfare officer.

Commissioned in 2013, Anchorage is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship home ported at Naval Base San Diego. Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.

“I am most looking forward to getting to know the other junior officers, leading sailors in my division, and working my best to make the ship better with my own personal leadership style,” Donnelly said.

The midshipmen’s ship selection is not only a major personal milestone but also an important day for the ships in the fleet. Not only do the midshipmen choose where they are going to start their Navy career, but the ship they choose will also gain a motivated, eager, young officer to help lead and improve an already great team, according to Navy officials.

“NROTC units across the country instill essential warfighting fundamentals, professional core competencies, and ethics required in a Navy or Marine Corps officer,” said Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi, Commander, Naval Service Training Command, which includes the NROTC Program. “I am enormously proud of our graduating midshipman for completing this demanding program, and look forward to them joining the fleet.”

“I want to bring to my ship a fresh attitude and a diligent work ethic,” Donnelly said. “I want to be the type of leader who is honest with my chain of command and my sailors, and also be able to inspire others in my division and outside of my division.”

Ray Hanania

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