LTJG Drew Stafford is currently the Commanding Officer, CGC Swordfish. As a junior officer, the responsibility of being a commanding officer has been a challenge, but ones for which the Academy has prepared him well.
On the best part of the Mechanical Engineering major
I most enjoyed the variety in Mechanical Engineering. Each subject was vastly different but still related to each other. Classes ranged from design and manufacturing, to mechanisms and static properties, to power curves and efficiencies. Since we were constantly studying different topics there was a lot of opportunity for people to find what areas of the engineering field interested them most.
How the major has prepared Drew for success
This program creates a solid base for time management skills, as well as simultaneously managing multi-layer projects. Having a foundation in these basic but critical skills prior to entering the fleet gives you a starting point that will be very useful as you gain more responsibility and qualifications.
On applying learning
The Mechanical Engineering program develops a way thinking and problem solving. As you learn and develop your way of critical thinking, it is automatically applied to most challenges presented. This leads to a methodical, step-by-step approach to most items within your career.
Advice for others thinking about Mechanical Engineering
It is a commitment. The major is challenging, especially alongside all of the other obligations of the Academy. If you can be (and stay) self-motivated about the major it will be well worth it.