By Sarah Ryan and Colleen Carow
An Ohio University engineering student has been accepted into a highly selective United States Navy Officer Candidate School (OCS) training program.
Mechanical engineering senior Bryan Crosby, a Grove City, Ohio, native, has been admitted into the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program, where he will be trained in nuclear carrier operations.
Now a Petty Officer First Class PO-1 in the Naval Reserve, he is on official Navy orders to complete his undergraduate degree in 2010 and is also receiving a full active duty military salary. Upon graduation, he will spend 13 weeks at the OCS before moving on to the Nuclear Power School (NPS), where he will receive half a master's degree in six months. From there, he will begin prototype training to learn how to operate a reactor.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering Bob Williams, one of Crosby's professors in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, said he thinks the Navy is lucky to have Crosby. "We are very proud of Bryan for winning this extremely competitive position with the nuclear Navy. I wish him all the best," he said.
As part of the interview, Crosby was evaluated on his technical skills as well as on a one-on-one interview before the Navy admiral in charge of all naval reactor operations, a top-commissioned officer equivalent to a four-star Army general or a Fortune 500 CEO. However, he noted the technical part was easy compared to interviewing with the admiral.
"I had to mentally prepare," Crosby said, adding that the only advice he received beforehand was to be confident in every answer and action.
Eventually, Crosby will move on to surface training for nuclear reactors, which will allow him to travel on nuclear vessels.
Crosby says he chose the path because he wanted a career that allows him to travel around the world and receive some of the best leadership training available.
"I have always tried to challenge myself, and when I learned about how selective the program was, I knew I should at least try," he said. "I jumped at the chance to have a set career before I graduated college, especially in a field of engineering that will surely need highly trained people in the near future as fossil fuels are phased out."
What is Crosby looking forward to most? "Serving on a ship as a commissioned officer in the most powerful and most technically advanced Navy in the world. In the first 18 months of service, I will be tested in every leadership role on the ship from running the engines to driving the ship," he said.
David Bayless, a Russ College professor of mechanical engineering who completed the program himself, had some memories of his own as well as some advice for Crosby.
"To this day, I am truly honored to have served as an officer in the Navy. I matured substantially while in the Navy and I think it's a great route for any young man to follow," Bayless said. "Bryan has a tough road to travel. At every step along the way, he will be greatly challenged, but I am sure he will be an excellent officer."