Before donning officer bars, LT Stempel was an enlisted Electronics technician aboard submarines. He picked up a Seaman-to-Admiral 21 package and began his career as a Naval officer. After attending the Naval Science Institute in Rhode Island, he attended Auburn University in Alabama as a member of their NROTC unit. After graduating from nuclear power school, LT Stempel was first assigned to the fast attack submarine, USS Lousville SSN 724. He met his boat at Pearl Harbor where she was already in the middle of a western pacific patrol known as WESTPAC. One of his first billets was the Reactors Controls Assistant for the plant aboard the submarine. LT Stempel says this is where he faced one of his greatest challenges as an officer: he had to lead a division that was undermanned and tasked with a heavy maintenance load. He credits being actively involved with the tasks at hand and taking accountability of his enlisted with utmost scrutiny to have helped him through this challenge. Spending two WESTPAC deployments in key areas of the pacific including the Philippines, Guam, and Malaysia amongst others, LT Stempel earned his dolphins on Valentine’s Day of 2012. As a LTJG, LT Stempel was given the collateral billet aboard the sub as the Force Protection Officer. With this billet he received training in the implementation of laser warning systems in protection of a submarine when pulling into port. Later, he had the collateral billet Quality Assurance Officer, tasked with overseeing maintenance at the dry docks and coordinating when and how retesting was to be performed. LT Stempel is happy to be at MIT, serving as the 2/c and 1/c advisor and Submarine advocate. He is currently pursuing entrance to a Master program at MIT for Supply Chain Management or an MBA. His hobbies include golf, mountain biking, and hiking.
On Friday, 20 SEP 2013, Boston University Army, Air Force, and Naval ROTC met on New Balance Field for the Curtis Cup competition. The Curtis Cup is an annual round robin flag football tournament. This year, BU NROTC beat Army and Air Force to take home the cup for the third year in a row.
The evening began with Navy facing off against Air Force. Navy took an early lead and maintained their dominance through tight defense and rushing yards. As Navy defeated Air Force, Army was warming up on the sidelines. The next game was Army against Navy. From the start, Army was much more aggressive than Navy’s previous opponent. Luckily, Army fumbled the ball in their endzone resulting in a two point safety for Navy. Army quickly compensated for their error and scored, gaining a 6-2 lead. After a grueling 3 quarters of play, Navy was looking for a way to get the win. MIDN 1/c Ryan Foley, coach and quarterback of the team, rallied his teammates in hopes of a fourth quarter turnaround. Soon thereafter, Navy scored their first touchdown of the game and took the lead with a score of 8-2. The rest of the game was defense-centric in hopes of running out the clock and going home with the Cup. Although Army put up a good fight, Navy was successful in keeping their lead and finishing the game 8-2.
MIDN 1/c Amelia Stucker commented on her last Curtis Cup game, “After playing for three years it has really been enjoyable to see, not only how we have improved (and that we won), but the sportsmanship displayed between all three services. Each year became more and more competitive, but even more fun. It was a great experience to participate and I will surely miss it next year. Go Navy!”
The Curtis Cup competition is a Boston University ROTC tradition that provides each service an opportunity to showcase their physical abilities, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Although it is in the spirit of competition, all branches have an enjoyable time bonding over football and pizza. With the continued effort and skill of the NROTC midshipmen, it was no surprise when Navy came home with the Curtis Cup for the third time in a row.
LT Blair attended Purdue University in Indiana as a 4-year scholarship midshipman and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering. Upon his commissioning in 2009 began his nuclear power training, first spending six months in Charleston, SC, followed by six months in Saratoga Springs, NY. He reported to the USS Dallas, based out of Groton, CT, in 2010, and made his first of two CENTCOM deployments on Dallas in 2011. During his first deployment, LT Blair served as a Chemical Radiological Assistant (CRA), where he was responsible for the upkeep of the nuclear reactor aboard the submarine. Immediately prior to his assignment to the Boston University Unit, LT Blair was deployed for a second time to CENTCOM aboard the USS Dallas as the Assistant Operations Officer and stood watch as Officer of the Deck. The Boston University NROTC Unit was LT Blair’s first choice for his shore tour. LT Blair currently holds the position of senior class advisor, and is also the faculty advisor to the Nuke Club.
LT Blair, a Gloucester, MA native, is ecstatic to return to Boston. He married his wife, Michelle, also a Gloucester native, in 2011, 5 days before leaving for his first deployment. LT Blair is a lifelong Red Sox fan and relishes being so close to Fenway Park. During his free time, LT Blair also enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and sailing.
This year, like most others, incoming fourth class midshipmen are beginning to understand the basics of NROTC structure, protocol, and tradition. Taking a new direction, initial freshmen training was consolidated into one weekend in lieu of a week and a half at Naval Station Newport. After Freshmen Indoctrination weekend, fourth class midshipmen will continue their training throughout the fall semester and into the spring semester through mentorship, breakout labs, and weekend events.
The challenge of this change has most impacted many of the first class midshipmen in leadership positions. The change presented unique challenges in creating a freshmen training plan. New procedures and methods were needed to teach as much as possible and imbue the values of the Naval Service within a different time-frame. Although some were skeptical, Gunnery Sergeant Romer reassured the training staff, “I’ve seen three completely different styles of indoctrination, and trust me, they all yield the same results, this is a different method, but it will work the same, they will turn out just like you.”
Fourth class midshipmen were challenged too, as they had to accomplish all of the same objectives as previous midshipman candidates while simultaneously beginning their first semesters of college. INDOC Weekend took place a week after classes had already commenced. Despite these potential distractions, both the fourth class and staff proved their dedication to training which resulted in a successful weekend. “It was incredible to see the huge change in professionalism, military bearing, and teamwork over the course of just 48 hours. It is a testament to the fourth class’s willingness to learn and the staff’s commitment to upholding standards of excellence” said MIDN Ross who observed the weekend training as Public Affairs Officer.
The weekend kicked off with opening remarks and a pizza social to introduce the fourth class to other members of the battalion, as well as provide an opportunity to ask last-minute questions. The next day was their first taste of an early morning with a 0600 iPFA. The day was filled with the typical INDOC components of drill, uniform instruction, inspection, gouge studying, sounding off, and of course hydration. After a long and busy day, the fourth class were dismissed and retreated to their dorms for the night. The next morning kicked off with a sunrise sailing instruction and Mate A qualification. After marching the length of Boston University’s campus on Commonwealth Avenue, the fourth class returned to Babcock Supply for a day of instruction. By the conclusion of Day 2, the fourth class had signed scholarships, passed inspections, and were sworn in.
Despite the challenges of change, the battalion has adapted in order to retain fourth class training effectiveness. A new battalion staff billet, Freshmen Training Officer, has been created to continue effective midshipmen training throughout the year. Fourth class midshipmen will be required to complete a PQS (Professional Qualification Standard) over the course of the semester. Qualifications will include drill, sailing, fitness, color guard, academics, and other evolution to enhance leadership potential and character of all midshipmen. Upon completion, they will stand in front of a board of midshipmen leadership to test their knowledge.
This new freshmen training plan is likely to remain as the indoctrination method for upcoming years. The staff is very excited to continue developing the training and integration of fourth class into the battalion.
Written by: Midn 3/c Frayne
Edited by: MIDN 1/c Ross, MIDN 1/c McCormick
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