Joining the Naval ROTC program did not seem like a tough decision to MIDN Hayden. With a family tradition of military service started by his grandfather who served in the Army in WWII, a great sense of duty to serve his country, and a self-proclaimed “Type-A personality”, the Navy seemed like a great place to fulfill his goals and make an impact in the world.
When he entered the program, MIDN Hayden had dreams of becoming a Naval aviator. He attended many airshows growing up and saw becoming a pilot as a great challenge to try and overcome. After a successful career at Boston College, MIDN Hayden was poised to service select aviation. At the last minute however, LT Blair sat MIDN Hayden down and asked him what he was looking for in the Navy. MIDN Hayden replied that 1. he wanted to challenge himself in some of the most strenuous ways possible and 2. he wanted to serve with some of the brightest and most hard working sailors. Despite these opportunities being available in all communities in the Navy, LT Blair’s words of wisdom were enough to make MIDN Hayden complete a 180 turn and select submarines in the Fall. However, when asked what he would have on a desert island, his final choice proved to be a Freudian slip, choosing in fact a plane to leave the island rather than a submarine.
During his tenure in Old Ironsides Battalion, MIDN Hayden received great advice on leadership that he hopes to carry to the fleet. He feels that one of the most important aspects of leadership to remember is that “leaders strive to be respected, and should respect their subordinates. You can build their respect, or destroy it, all based upon the decisions that you make.” The best advice that he received as a Midshipman is that pragmatism should outweigh idealism.
When he isn’t locked in the library completing his thesis and bragging to his friends about how many pages he has written, or in the gym crushing Semper Fidelis Society PT, MIDN Hayden can be found at one of Boston’s best restaurants. As an avid foodie, MIDN Hayden loves exotic food, his favorite being Afghan, followed closely by Chinese. Sports are also a big part of MIDN Hayden’s daily life, playing intermural volleyball and broomball.
MIDN Hayden has some great advice for underclassmen and prospective midshipmen. He offers that “If you have an opportunity to do something awesome with your life, take it. I’d give the utmost credence to working hard and being intelligent, but sometimes, it’s better to be in the right place at the right time. Don’t hesitate, as your life will pass you by… four years of college have pretty much come and gone in a blink. Don’t squander opportunity.”
By MIDN Hamilton