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”.