On February 24th, 2016, Iowa State University’s Midshipman 1st Class Elena Bauer participated in the nationwide Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps’ ship selection day. Ship selection is a special day in every future Surface Warfare Officer’s life where the future officer is able to select the exact ship he or she would like to serve on for their first 24 month tour.
The process is simple; based on the individuals Order of Merit (a culmination of physical fitness tests, military aptitude and academic GPA) he or she is ranked against every other selectee and waits for a call from a Naval Lieutenant who asks which exact ship the future officer would like to select from the list provided. On Wednesday, MIDN Bauer elected to serve on board the USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD-41) stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. The WHIDBEY ISLAND is the first ship of the WHIDBEY ISLAND-class dock landing ships and is named for the island located in the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, Washington.