Leadership is “learning and understanding the people you lead and motivating/inspiring them to be more than they already are,” says David Forsey, a senior at Tufts and the Battalion Commander of the “Old Ironsides” NROTC Battalion. Inspired to join the Navy by his grandfather, who served in the British Royal Navy during World War II, Midshipman Forsey joined the NROTC program in the first semester of his freshman year.
Despite not having yet received a scholarship, Forsey immediately showed his commitment to the Battalion and to his future in the Navy, participating in battalion events and successfully gaining his scholarship at the end of his freshman year. His continued commitment since then resulted in his being named as Battalion Commander for this semester. As the Battalion Commander, Midshipman Forsey is responsible for leading, developing and training the Midshipman of the Battalion and creating a command philosophy and training vision for the Battalion.
Midshipman Forsey says that the best advice he ever received was that the “habits you develop as a midshipman will carry into the fleet. Start building character now and it’ll carry over into what happens after commissioning.” He also advises underclassmen and prospective midshipmen to “be kind. Nothing gets you further than a little bit of friendliness.” In addition, he says that “leadership is also highly relational. So much of it happens behind the scenes out of the spotlight where you develop an understanding of the people you’re leading so you can better advocate for them.”
Forsey says that few people realize that he is an “extremely outgoing introvert.” Although he is comfortable with public speaking and interacting in social situations, he still needs to retreat and regain energy alone after such activities. Some of his favorite hobbies include climbing, running, reading, and eating. His favorite food is Indian food, and if he were stranded on a desert island with only three things, he’d bring “a lighter, a friend and sunscreen.” More than anything else, he’s driven by his stubbornness, he says, which doesn’t let him give up.
After commissioning, Midshipman Forsey will report to Naval Reactors at the Navy Yard in Washington DC. There, he hopes to have a chance to help in the design of the new Ohio-Class Replacement submarine.
By MIDN 2/C Kindfuller