Most officers spend four years in their quest for a commission. The journey from dream to ensign looks different for everyone, but for the average 22 year old, becoming an O-1 has consumed nearly 20 percent of his or her life. That process culminates in a ceremony in which they don their sharpest uniforms, parade out in front of God and country, and accept commissions as the fleet’s newest ensigns (a title that, in that moment, they are proud to bear). They understand just how inexperienced they are; they are eager to learn; and they are excited to begin service as the future of the naval fighting force. They report to their first commands within a few weeks, and quickly—and abruptly—they transition to a climate that is more annoyed by their existence than it is excited to help them learn.
Nobody Asked Me, But . . .Get Rid of the Surface Ensign Stigma
By Lieutenant (junior grade) Joshua Asaro, U.S. Navy