It was May 2009, the worst recession of the century and I had just graduated with a business degree, student loans, and no job. This was not how I imagined my start in the “real world.” The summer I graduated I had what I call a quarter life crisis; it was the first time in my life where there wasn’t a predictable next step and now it was all on my shoulders. Other friends of mine were having the same struggle for that next step with few opportunities presenting themselves. Given this struggle, most recent grads decided to go for more schooling but I knew this step was not for me; I was ready to get out into the workforce, make a real paycheck, and become a bonafide adult.
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Lt. Danielle Mooney, SC, USN
Both of my brothers were in the Army Reserve and when my mom suggested joining the military my first thoughts included flashbacks from scenes of Full Metal Jacket and GI Jane and I thought, “no way, I’m not cut out for the military.” However, I pondered the idea overnight and the next day started my research. The more I learned about the Navy Supply Corps’ mission and core beliefs, the more I was drawn to it. After meeting with a recruiter and discussing my options, I decided to apply for the Supply Corps and was fortunate enough to be one of 19 people selected out of a group of 120.
Although I knew the path of joining the military would not be an easy one, I was impressed by how fast-paced, challenging, and interesting ship life turned out to be. While stationed aboard the USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), there were very few dull moments; in fact, my second week aboard after being flown to Dubai to meet the ship on deployment, we encountered a vessel in distress in the Persian Gulf and rescued 47 men, women, and children who had been adrift in a small skiff after their boat engine died while trying to reach Yemen. Having the migrants onboard turned into an all-hands evolution with everyone helping in any capacity they could from providing medical attention to cooking meals tailored more to their normal fare, to figuring out logistics for getting diapers on board for the newly embarked infant. This was such an incredible experience to provide humanitarian aid to people in dire need and something I didn’t imagine I would be doing as a Supply Corps officer.
Joining the Navy was never in my mind throughout my college career, so it is interesting to me that it turned out to be the best decision of my life! Financially, socially, and experience-wise, it has been a multi-layered choice that has greatly enriched my life. I can’t wait to see what is in store for me next for my career as a Navy Supply Corps officer!
By Lt. Danielle Mooney, SC, USN