Imagine being in your early to mid-twenties and assuming control of a $1.5 billion nuclear-powered submarine.
This is a reality for the Submarine Officers in charge of driving, powering, arming and operating the Navy’s Fleet of attack, ballistic missile and guided missile submarines.
A Stevens senior in naval engineering, Donald Montemarano may become one such Naval Submarine Officer. Recently accepted into the US Navy’s highly prestigious Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program (NUPOC), he will participate in coursework, training, and deployment aboard a submarine.
Montemarano, who hails from Edison, New Jersey, is one of five Stevens’ students to have been accepted into the Navy’s highly competitive Officer Candidate School (OCS), a strong endorsement of the kind of graduates that Stevens produces.
During the rigorous interview process, one that included an admiral, Montemarano cited his experience at Stevens as a deciding factor in his success.
“In the interview, they want you to figure things out for yourself, not to give a prepared response,” says Montemarano.
“Stevens provides a well-rounded education, well beyond the technical subjects,” he says. “In the broadest sense, the engineering discipline stresses upon us the ability to handle a variety of situations.”
Montemarano, who also plays saxophone for the Stevens concert and jazz bands, also acknowledges his fraternity, Sigma Nu, for enhancing his social and leadership skills.
“Greek life at Stevens is great,” says Montemarano. “Being evaluated for my character and command presence, I had an advantage.”
Eventually, explains Montemarano, he plans to use his Stevens education in naval engineering combined with his first-hand experience on board with the Navy to build nuclear submarines.