MILITARY SPOTLIGHT: Titusville Native Mikaela Mitchell Trains as a U.S. Navy Surface Warrior

By  //  August 30, 2019

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Mitchell credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Titusville

Ensign Mikaela Mitchell, a native of Titusville, Florida, was inspired to join the Navy by the opportunity for higher education. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown)

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Ensign Mikaela Mitchell, a native of Titusville, Florida, was inspired to join the Navy by the opportunity for higher education.

Now, Mitchell has the opportunity to learn leadership at the Basic Division Officer Course (BDOC), part of Surface Warfare Officers School San Diego.

“It offers a lot of information you need in order to be successful in the fleet,” said Mitchell.

BDOC is an intensive, nine week course of instruction designed to provide foundational classroom training to prospective surface warfare officers.

Mitchell credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Titusville.

“I learned to make sure you do well in school so you can have more opportunities and make something of yourself,” said Mitchell.

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Mitchell, a 2015 graduate of Titusville High School, is training to become a surface warfare officer.

“We’re the main operators of the ship, whether it’s driving or operating certain departments on the ship, as well as leading the sailors that help operate the ship,” said Mitchell.

The course places emphasis on classroom instruction and Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE) simulators, which simulate every class of ship in the U.S. Navy and all their homeports, in addition to many routine ports of call around the world.

COVE reinforces concepts in navigation, seamanship, and ship-handling. BDOC also provides instruction on maritime warfare, divisional officer fundamentals, engineering, leadership and damage control.

The mission of Surface Warfare Officers School is to ready sea-bound warriors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers and enlisted navigation professionals to fulfill the Navy’s mission maintaining global maritime superiority.

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Once service members finish training they are deployed around the world putting their skill set to work aboard Navy ships, such as aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious warfare ships, mine warfare ships and littoral combat ships.

There are many sacrifices and goals one must achieve to be selected as a surface warfare officer and Mitchell is most proud of being commissioned as an officer.

“It’s being enstrusted with the responsibility of teaching people who will go on to bigger and better things,” said Mitchell.

Surface warfare has been a part of world history for more than 3,000 years, and the United States has its stamp on that history with actions ranging from the American Revolution to modern-day operations at sea around the world.

A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans.

More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer.

“Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

As Mitchell and other surface warriors continue to train, they take pride serving their country in the United States Navy.

“It gives me a sense of pride because I’m a representative of this nation, whether I’m in uniform or not,” said Mitchell.

“Being in the Navy is very prideful.”

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