Navy Men’s Swimmers Learn Service Assignments at Purdue Invitational

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Andy MacGregor and Chris Mayer embrace after learning their service assignments at the Purdue Invitational. Photo Courtesy: Dave Wegiel / Purdue Athletics

The Navy men’s swimmers senior class learned their service assignments on Thursday afternoon at the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Indiana. The students at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland learned of their service assignments at school but the men’s swimmers were not present, thus hearing their assignments today at their midseason invitational.

Navy Men’s Swimmers Service Assignments:

  • Jac Cortright – Navy pilot
  • Joaquin Gabriel – Navy pilot
  • Andy MacGregor – Navy explosive ordnance disposal
  • Chris Mayer – Navy explosive ordnance disposal
  • James Wilson – Navy pilot

“It’s a really special moment – not just for the athletes who are learning about their services – but their teammates and all of us,” said Navy head coach Bill Roberts. “We have seen them go through this journey where they look at the Naval Academy, commit to the Naval Academy and this is the beginning of their next big step in their journey. So for us to be there when they are finding out real time is special and it’s an honor to be there.”

The Navy women’s swimmers and the men’s divers also got their service assignments but they were present at other meets.

Navy Men’s Divers Service Assignments:

  • Bradley Buchter – Navy surface warfare
  • Chandler Derbyshire – Marine Corps pilot
  • Nash Nickerson – Navy supply

Navy Women’s Swimmers Service Assignments:

  • Stephanie Downing – Marine Corps ground
  • Kelly Harrington – Marine Corps pilot
  • Elyse MacIsaac – Navy pilot
  • Jamie Miller – Navy submarines
  • Dominique Quintero – Navy pilot
  • McKenna Resconich – Navy pilot
  • Erin Scudder – Marine Corps ground
  • Delaney Walz – Marine corps pilot

“It was fantastic,” said Louisville head coach Arthur Albiero who was on hand to observe the ceremony. “Talk about perspective – we spend a lot of time and energy in what we do and certainly as a coach my main responsibility is to help people. We always talk about “through swimming” this is not about swimming, this is through swimming that you are going to prepare for the rest of your life.

“So you look at this four year period, maybe a few more, but ultimately there is a whole other life coming and through swimming is about learning the skills and preparing to see these guys, it’s real. These guys are going to defend our country and I was emotional, I’m not going to lie. Ultimately that’s what we are trying to do through our sport — to prepare people and set them up to be successful in life and that gets real really quick with these guys that are going to be doing some things that are going to ultimately protect our country.”

The Midshipmen may select from 24 different career choices and submit up to six service preferences in late August in their senior year. Assignments are based on specific requirements provided by Department of the Navy leadership and consider both a midshipman’s aptitude and preference for a particular assignment. The Naval Academy strives to match personal preferences with aptitude and ability, placing midshipmen in the community best suited to their strengths so as to set them up for successful careers of naval service.

“This is the third time I’ve seen it. The first time was at Virginia Tech three years ago and it was really moving. I didn’t know what it would be like and to see the guys get what they wanted and for our guys showing them the respect — sure we are at a swim meet and it is important but here are guys defending our freedom when they’re done and will be risking their lives — it was very moving,” said Purdue head coach Dan Ross.

“When they came here two years ago we said we absolutely wanted to do it again and everybody got their number one choice two years ago and again today. It’s just so cool to see it. It’s emotional, you get the hairs sticking up on the back of your neck to see the guys so excited they are going to be pilots and warfare officers. That’s what real life is for the rest of our swimmers like ‘that’s what they’re going to do the rest of their lives.’ This is the perspective that this is just a swim meet. Yes it is important and yes it is intense but that’s really cool to see and I’ve been very proud to be associated with it for the third time.”

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