Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben, chief of US Navy chaplains, visited Rickover Naval Academy, Nov. 20.
Kibben, who was in the area to celebrate the birthday of the Navy Chaplain Corps, took the opportunity to visit the school, tour the facilities and speak with cadets and staff.
In speaking with a group of more than 300 freshmen and sophomores, Kibben spoke of her father who served in the Navy, and how he built her house with a strong foundation of principles he was taught in life.
“You are all building your house right now,” said Kibben. “Everything you are learning at Rickover is teaching you to lay those blocks so you will have a structurally sound house that will stand. Stay on track so that house will stay square.”
Rickover Naval Academy is a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school where all the students are Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets. It is one of six military academies in Chicago. The school is named after Adm. Hyman G. Rickover who was a 1917 graduate of the CPS and 1920 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He is known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.”
Kibben also told a story of how she met Adm. Rickover early in her career as a junior officer while the duty chaplain at the hospital where he was a patient. Years later, she has come full circle by visiting a school named in his honor.
“It is always great to have admirals visit the school and see what we are doing,” said Cadet Lindsey Frazin, a sophomore from Chicago. It was great for this Admiral to talk about how we can build a foundation of success and especially since I have wanted to be a naval officer since I was in 5th grade.”
Kibben also took the time to meet with the cadet leadership over lunch and asked each cadet what their thoughts were about the school and why they wanted to attend. She also asked where they would be right now if they had not attended Rickover and what they want to do once they graduate.
“I came to Rickover for the discipline and the leadership,” said Cadet Battalion Executive Officer Esbeydei Silva, a senior from Chicago. “If I would have gone to my neighborhood school I would have been a reckless teenager. Now I want to go to college and possibly be an officer in the military.”
“I am very impressed by my visit today,” said Kibben. “You are all on a course of Honor, Courage and Commitment and building discipline that would make Adm. Rickover proud today.”
The NJROTC program is overseen by Rear Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois.
NJROTC is a citizenship development program that instills the value of citizenship and service to the United States in high school students across U.S. secondary educational institutions.
NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy’s Citizenship Development program. NSTC includes Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy’s only boot camp; NROTC at more than 160 colleges and universities across the country; Officer Training Command (OTC) in Newport, Rhode Island; NJROTC and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
Press Release; Image: US Navy