Alumni Gives Presentation to Middle Schoolers on his Career Path in the Navy and Beyond

“How do you eat an elephant?” was one of former Western Wayne Graduate Garrett Enslin’s questions that he posed to eighth grade students at an assembly held in the school gym on Thursday, November 3.
Lieutenant Enslin, who graduated from Western Wayne in 2012, achieved many outstanding accomplishments in the United States Navy.
Enslin was asked by Western Wayne Administration to give a presentation to all eighth grade students to get them thinking about future career paths in the Navy, in engineering, etc.
One of Enslin’s overall points made clear by the elephant question was that no problem is too difficult to solve or no step is too difficult to handle on the road to success.
“In order to eat the ‘elephant’, you have to break it into small pieces,” Enslin explained to the students. “You eat it one bite at a time. This relates to engineering because no matter how complicated the problem is you break it down into small pieces until you are able to solve it.”
Enslin has been working on his problem-solving skills among many others since graduating from Western Wayne High School in 2012.
In 2016, Enslin graduated from the United States Naval Academy where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, Enslin was stationed on a ship in Everett, Washington, for about two and a half years. He worked as a gunnery ordnance officer where he led twenty sailors in maintenance work. This type of work included working with the guns on the ship, logistics projects, management of the ammunition itself, getting missiles on board, coordinating teams, etc.
Once his first tour was completed, Enslin received a Navy Achievement Medal for his work as Gunnery and Ordnance Officer onboard the U.S.S. Momsen.
Enslin went on to Nuclear Power School, a technical school operated by the U.S. Navy in Goose Creek, South Carolina, to train enlisted sailors, officers, KAPL civilians and Bettis civilians for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance of surface ships and submarines in the U.S. nuclear navy. There he learned theory about how nuclear reactors work among many other aspects of this field. He graduated second in his class from Nuclear Power School. Then Enslin applied the theory he learned at Nuclear Power School in prototype school, which is a Nuclear Power Training Unit.
Enslin explained that at the training unit there are essentially two nuclear power submarines that were decommissioned from naval service and refitted for the specific purpose of training nuclear operators now. Enslin graduated first in his class from prototype.
He discussed with the students how his training was a progression because first he learned the theory in Nuclear Power School, then he applied that theory in his prototype training, and next he began applying all of this acquired knowledge from school and training on a ship that has two actual nuclear reactors, the U.S.S. Nimitz.
Enslin started on the Nimitz on November 4, 2019. He served as a surface warfare officer (nuclear). He ended up being a part of the longest deployment carrier in United States history since Vietnam because he was on the ship during COVID times which made his time onboard about three years.
“I was able to see the world off the coast of Iran and Africa,” Enslin explained. “I also won the Navy’s award for Propulsion Plant Watch Officer for 2020.”
Enslin told the students stories about his time in the military.
“The science is all around you,” he explained when it came to his time in the Navy.
As Enslin explained his job. The Western Wayne Principal of STEAM Elizabeth Watson guided the discussion for the students explaining about how Enslin, for example, used precision and accuracy for certain tasks in the Navy just as the students are learning about those concepts in their science classes at the middle school.
In 2021, Enslin came back stateside and worked to get further qualifications in nuclear engineering. After getting out of the Navy this past June, Enslin has gone on to become a mechanical design engineer for Holtec International, Camden, New Jersey. He gets to design what makes up nuclear reactors at his job.
One student asked Enslin the best part of his career.
“Overall, I get to go in and do something that is important,” Enslin explained. “Every single day I get to learn.”
Another student asked if Enslin always knew what he wanted to do for his path after high school.
“I wanted to be an inventor,” Enslin said. “It’s about working hard enough that you can take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of you.”
Both staff and students had the chance to speak with Enslin during the question and answer session after his presentation.
Enslin’s former teachers remember his strengths when he was in school and are proud of his accomplishments.
“As your middle school librarian, we are proud of you,” Michele Forbes said. “You have done well, and thank you for your service.”
Enslin told the students that he hopes they find inspiration to have their own success stories from his presentation whether it be in the Navy, college, another military branch, the engineering field, etc.
“Don’t ever let someone tell you how hard something is going to be and let that influence you not to try it,” Enslin explained. “If you want to do something, you decide how hard it is while you are doing it.”
Western Wayne administration, faculty, and staff are very proud of Enslin’s many great accomplishments and wish him the very best in all of his future endeavors.

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