Senior Spotlight: Karly Boettcher

Midn 1/c Karly Boettcher will graduate next month as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. She attends Boston University and majors in Health Science at Sargent College. Midn Boettcher has always had the desire to serve her country, and her dedication to the NROTC program proves that she is very committed to her dream of becoming a Marine Officer. This past summer she graduated Officer Candidate School and was selected as BnXO for this Spring Semester.

Midn Boettcher takes her job as a leader seriously. She is a strong believer in mentorship and setting the right example. According to Midn Boettcher, “There is no set path or decision that is right for everyone, but if you always carry yourself with honor and integrity, that is something that everyone can look up to.”

As a future Marine Officer, Midn Boettcher hopes to join the aviation community and is currently awaiting a flight contract. The aviation community suits Midn Boettcher’s personality well. She is adventurous and loves life. This past fall semester Midn Boettcher studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland where she had an amazing experience.

Outside of NROTC, you will find Midn Boettcher enjoying the great outdoors. She loves participating in activities such as swimming, biking, and hiking (a great Marine Corps pastime). She is also an avid gym goer and is currently training to become an instructor for Russian Kettle Bells. If she was stuck on a desert island all she would need would be some good books, sunscreen, and food. Midn Boettcher stays true to her roots as a future Marine Corps Officer. Marines are used to being stuck outside with the bare minimum.

Midn Boettcher’s time at the BU NROTC unit is coming to an end. Her advice to rising underclassmen is “look for the training value in ROTC. Don’t take yourself too seriously.” Failure is a part of learning. In order to be successful you must learn from your mistakes.

Semper Gumby Always Flexible is her motto. “Things are always going to change, but you’ve got to adapt and [overcome].”

The Old Ironsides Battalion wishes Midn 1/c Karly Boettcher luck in her future endeavors and her next training school TBS in Quantico, Virginia where she will report this fall.


Senior Spotlight: Vadim Reytblat

MIDN 1/c Vadim Reytblat has been a force of wisdom and guidance through his ROTC career in the Old Ironsides Battalion. As a leader and mentor throughout his four years, Reytblat has proven to be an example of toughness, focus, and commitment to service. Although born in the Ukraine, MIDN Reytblat grew up in America, specifically, Los Angeles. To Tufts and to Navy ROTC, he brought a love for activity–anything outdoors and sporty–as well as his competitive spirit, an appetite for reading, studying leadership examples, and engaging in thoughtful conversations.

His values as a leader could best be epitomized by Gunnery Sergeant Basilone, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient, as well as by Justice Louis Brandeis, a member of the Supreme Court, once hailed as a “Robin Hood of the law.” A man of principle, MIDN Reytblat emphasizes the importance of listening, apologizing, and seeking consultation before acting on important decisions that will affect a group. Additionally, MIDN Reytblat consistently expresses gratitude to those around him and he believes in the power of the people who wear the uniform.

While he will be leaving Boston for the 10th Fleet–to work in Cyber Command–he carries with him the preparedness afforded by his Tufts Mechanical Engineering degree, but more importantly his paracord and knife–ready for the challenge of an Intel officer career. If you want to catch him before graduation, commission, and leaving Boston, he always loves a homecooked meal!

MIDN 2/C Schott

Senior Spotlight: Joanna Chen

After commissioning this spring, Joanna Chen will head to Basic Division Officers Course (BDOC) in San Diego, where she will begin the Surface Warfare part of her career in the Surface Warfare Nuclear Program.  Inspired by the excellence, motivation, and selflessness of the people she met at Summer Seminar at the Naval Academy, Joanna joined ROTC her freshmen year. Since then, she’s been able to balance a rigorous schedule of Materials Science and Engineering, ROTC, and MIT pole vault (with a career high of 3.5 meters), with the knowledge that she has a purpose, and in the end everything will be good. She will continue this tradition after graduation by leading and mentoring sailors aboard the DDG-60 Paul Hamilton in Pearl Harbor, following BDOC.

Joanna is driven by the hope that she will make an impact on her sailors’ lives, grow as a leader, and see the world. Already in the company, she’s had a big influence on the underclassmen throughout her many roles, including Company Commander. The best advice she ever received was, “whatever you do, wherever you end up, do it to the best of your ability. Everyone is human, and should be respected as such”.

For those of us not commissioning this spring, she challenges us to “keep your mind open. It’s crazy what can happen if you do”.

Senior Spotlight: Erik Klatt

Erik Klatt is a simple man with an appreciation for the classics. Hailing from Uniontown, PA, he grew up with a close family who taught him a work ethic that has been with him his whole life. He is no stranger to working with his hands, and would be just as comfortable working on a farm as he is in the machine shop. However, this did not stop him from pursuing a rigorous education in mechanical engineering at MIT. His desire to “build stuff” led him to his degree, and his desire to serve his country led him to the United States Navy.

The military runs through MIDN Klatt’s veins as he carries on his family’s strong tradition of service. Both of MIDN Klatt’s grandfathers served in the military, one in the Navy in WWII and the other in the Air Force in the Korean War, and both of his parents are Air Force veterans. Although MIDN Klatt considered following in his parents’ footsteps into the Air Force, he came to his senses before arriving at college and decided on a naval career. Later this year he will begin his career in the navy submarine service, taking one step closer to his goal of running “secret sub stuff” in defense of the nation.

One of MIDN Klatt’s greatest contributions to the Boston NROTC battalion is his leadership by example, whether inspiring the battalion as command master chief with his immaculate uniform, organizing gym groups after his two semesters as physical training officer, or setting a new standard for men’s hair with his signature comb over. His dedication to his country is palpable; his American flag swim trunks have made appearances all around the world, and if he found himself stranded on a desert island, he could not be content unless he brought all of America with him, along with his gun and Bible.

His experiences over his four years at MIT have given him a great deal of insight to share with the younger classes. He makes a point of recognizing the opportunities that he has been given, both to be thankful for them as well as to ensure that he is taking full advantage. He also encourages everyone to learn from every experience they encounter. He says to “take your successes, your failures, others’ successes, and others’ failures, and realize that there is something to learn from every situation.” Even when he finds himself in an uncomfortable location, he sees true leadership as being able to perform to the maximum.

MIDN Klatt will continue to perform to the max when he graduates, commissions, and deploys to Nuclear Power School. If you find yourself visiting Charleston, SC, you may find ENS Klatt pursuing some of his favorite hobbies; working out, playing the piano, or eating waffles, but he will always be working to improve himself and serve his country.

By MIDN 2/C Holcomb

Senior Spotlight: Braydon Hummeldorf

Braydon Hummeldorf is a man admired by many, but intimately known by only a few. The catalog of his exploits in life stretches over a mile long. He’s athletic, witty, smart, determined, and good-looking. The impact he’s had on those around him, both above and below, has been incredibly positive. This article is your chance to go beyond the legend and discover the man himself.

Braydon has been involved with the Navy since his childhood, when his Dad was still in the Navy. He spent many of his early years in life in Europe while his Dad was stationed there. Since then, Braydon and his family moved to San Diego, where he continues to live. His early experiences with the Navy had a profound impression on Braydon, and are the reason he chose to join ROTC in the first place.

So, what skills does Braydon bring to the Navy’s table? Well, there’s the standard cooking, cleaning, sewing, and ironing that he learned from his dad. He also brings a sense of humor, which will undoubtedly be necessary during the long tours overseas. He brings an absolute sense of professionalism that any Navy person would admire, both officer and enlisted. Additionally, Braydon learned from his mom to always do everything twice, because there’s almost always a 100% chance you messed up the first time around. Needless to say, all of these skills will provide the Navy with an exceptionally capable ensign.

As for Braydon’s legacy, well, it is something to behold. I don’t know what people will remember about him more: his kind and effeminate nature, his unique way of saying “I told you so”, or his strange desire to prove that he’s better than everyone else by insisting that he loves Mexican food, but only if its some authentic, hole in the wall style place instead of Chipotle like everyone else. All this aside, Braydon has undoubtedly left a significant impression on all those around him. His peers have had the fortune to spend 4 years with him. Going to class, hanging out, talking, learning, and hitting up the bars with Braydon for 4 years must have been quite the ride. To those younger than him, myself included, he’s been both a friend and a mentor. He’s taught me a lot about what it takes to be a great leader, and about how important it is to always treat those in your charge with the utmost respect. There is no doubt that he has had similar positive influences on countless other people in his life. In regards to any prospective MIDN, Braydon had this to say, “It doesn’t get easier; you just get better at handling it.  So loosen up, relax your shoulders, find what works for you, and have fun with it.  You’ll learn when you need to put on the serious face, so no need to wear it everyday.”… Wise words from a wise man.

Thank you Braydon for all you’ve done in your time here.

By Connor Fulton

BU-MIT NROTC Midshipmen Tour of Sikorsky Aircraft Facility

STRATFORD (Apr. 23, 2015) – A select few midshipmen were granted a remarkable opportunity to see where one of the most well-known contemporary aircraft comes into existence.

On the banks of the Housatonic River in Connecticut, you will find the Sikorsky factory; a vast expanse of metal and concrete that can yield a new helicopter every 6 days.  Nestled within the facility were the testing and engineering departments hard at work on the helicopters of tomorrow and improving the ones we use today.

The midshipmen, accompanied by two Naval Aviators and a Sikorsky history specialist, were granted the opportunity to tour the Sikorsky facilities.  The tour began in the archives room with the history of Sikorsky and its founder, Igor Sikorsky.  The archives were filled with replicas of Sikorsky’s life work, from the first multi-engine airplanes to the very first helicopters.  Each replica aircraft building on the last, showing just how progressive and inventive Mr. Sikorsky really was.

Next, the group moved on to the factory floor and was presented with the complex problem of manufacturing a multimillion-dollar aircraft.  Fortunately, Sikorsky provided the solution with their intense automation, precise machining and a stellar crew of engineers and technicians.  Being able to see each part being manufactured and assembled into smaller systems interested the midshipmen, but many wanted to see the finished product.

And so the midshipmen were presented with the final assembly room, where Sikorsky assembles and then puts the final touches on the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk and HH-60M Medevac helicopters, as well as the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.  The midshipmen were impressed with the extreme efficiency of the different assembly technicians and their teams.  It put into perspective the amount of work that goes into these military aircraft.

The final stop led the midshipman to Igor Sikorsky’s office, which brought home the message of the whole tour.  Mr. Sikorsky worked his whole life to bring about a machine intended to save lives.  He dedicated his whole life its development, and even went on to test many of the helicopters and other aircraft himself.  It made the midshipmen step back and realize how amazing these aircraft really were, and the fact that some would be using Mr. Sikorsky’s work to save lives themselves.

For more information about NROTC, visit

By Midshipman 1st Class Connor Humber, MIT NROTC Unit

Senior Spotlight: Stephen Johnson

Although MIDN Johnson is in ROTC, he likes to keep things relaxed and remembers to have fun.  In addition to ROTC, he participates in Roadkill Buffet, MIT’s improv comedy club, plays broomball, and skies over Jell-O.  He is an avid broomball player and is always advocating other midshipman to take part in the game.  MIDN Johnson is also realistic.  He claims if he were stranded on an island, he would want a satellite phone, an open buffet with lots of oranges, and a pinball machine.

While his advice is to “not take everything seriously or else you [will] never have fun,” he is serious when it comes to leadership making sure to help his people and handle issues.  He says leadership means “helping your people, delivering your projects on time, and handling issues accordingly.”

MIDN Johnson joined ROTC because he likes submarines; as a chemical engineer, he appreciates the engineering that goes into designing and building them.  This was one of the reasons why he decided to join ROTC.  He views submarines as “engineering in a tube” and doesn’t think anything could be more interesting.  His first choice for service selection was submarines, which is his service assignment after he commissions.