Senior naval ROTC member Abigail Kaiser nationally ranked



Sarah McAssey

At this point in the semester, many members of the senior class are applying for jobs at business firms or banks. Currently in the process of deciding

Abigail Kaiser, a mechanical engineering major from Frederick, Maryland faces a different task than most. Kaiser was ranked third female midshipman in the country by the national ROTC program, an honor that affords her the opportunity to choose which ship she will serve on upon graduation, a privilege extended only to top midshipmen.

“I was definitely surprised when I first found out,” Kaiser said. “The way the rankings work is you are compared to all of the other MIDN who were service selected Surface Warfare (SWO) from ROTC in the country. These are people from different units all over the country who you’ve never met before so its hard to really tell where you would stand.”

Kaiser chose the USS Donald Cook, which will deploy out of Rota, Spain. “I chose the USS Donald Cook mostly for the chance to go abroad” Kaiser said. “The Donald Cook is a destroyer and I knew I wanted to be on either a cruiser or destroyer, after graduation, and the opportunity to do an overseas deployment was appealing. A lot of people I talked to while making my decision recommended going to Spain, either from their own experience or from what they’ve heard from people they know. I’ve also never been to Europe before, so the chance to travel when I have free time would be awesome.”    

Kaiser also elaborated on the effect of the ROTC program on her four years at Villanova. “Being a part of this Battalion has definitely been a huge part of my college experience,” Kaiser said. “We have an obligation and commitment that goes far beyond that of our Villanova peers. As a freshman it was a big adjustment, because you are not only transitioning from high school to college, but you are also making a transition from the civilian world to the military. Now, as a senior, it’s just a part of my everyday life.    

Kaiser also credits the NROTC unit with finding several of her closest friends. “The NROTC unit is great, because you are surrounded by 100 other people all here for the same reason,” Kaiser said. “There is a lot of mentorship and camaraderie in the Battalion that goes beyond just your time at Villanova.”

 The Villanova NROTC unit has been ranked among the top ten and top five ROTC programs in the country multiple times, producing several high ranking personnel in various branches of the military.

Kaiser offered valuable advice to her fellow peers in the NROTC program, saying, “My biggest piece of advice would be to work hard and never settle for just enough. Always push yourself to be better, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” 


Photo courtesy of Delaware County Times