On June 9, hours after receiving her diploma in mechanical engineering in Killian Court, Colleen McCoy ’17 stood at attention on the deck of the USS Constitution as her sisters Bridget ’15 (left) and Fiona ’13 pinned her ensign shoulder boards to her uniform. She then returned her first salute as a U.S. Navy officer to Shannon McCoy ’19, the fourth McCoy sister to take part in MIT’s Reserve Officer Training Corps. Fiona is a Navy lieutenant and Bridget a lieutenant junior grade.
Colleen was one of 12 MIT ROTC graduates who took their oaths of service in the Air Force, Army, or Navy that day. “We need people who think critically and can bring clarity in crisis,” Darren W. McDew, a four-star general in the Air Force, told the new officers. “Don’t be afraid to be bold. Lead. Don’t shy away from it. Just lead.” More than 12,000 officers have been commissioned from MIT since its ROTC program began in 1865; over 150 have gone on to become admirals or generals.
In July, Ensign McCoy reported for duty at the Navy Yard in Washington, where she will serve as a naval reactor engineer.