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