By MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams, NMCB 133 Public Affairs
Rear Adm. Kate Gregory (right), commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC ) and chief of civil engineers, administers the Oath of Office to Ens. Michal Shafer, NMCB 133, during the commissioning ceremony. (Photo by MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams/150925-N-EW956-066)
Equipment Operator 1st Class Michal Shafer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, received her commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy via the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program by Rear Adm. Kate Gregory, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and chief of civil engineers at the Gulfport Armed Forces Retirement Home, Gulfport, Mississippi, Sept. 25.
LDOs are technically oriented officers who perform duties of specific occupational fields and have demonstrated strong managerial skills. As technical managers of the line or staff corps, LDOs progressively advance within broad technical fields related to their former enlisted ratings. They fill leadership and management positions at the ensign through captain levels that require technical background and skills not attainable through normal development within other officer designators.
Prior to administering the oath, Gregory addressed Shafer, her family and friends. “I would just tell you that it is a privilege to wear this uniform and a privilege to serve our nation, and that privilege comes with responsibility, and the responsibilities that we expect of you are going to quadruple and be much greater,” said Gregory. “I’m excited for your future and I’m excited about your responsibilities that I know you will execute well.”
Following the oath, the floor was given to Shafer where she recounted her career’s journey to this point. She thanked her family members who have stood by her every step of the way, and were there for another milestone in Shafer’s career.
BUCS Freddie Young (left) completes the uniform change with the placement of the officer’s cover, finalizing the transformation from EO1 to Ens. Michal Shafer. (Photo by MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams/150925-N-EW956-071)
“I started when I was 28 and before that, I was just going in circles in my life, not knowing what I wanted to do day-to-day,” said Shafer. “The military just seemed like an awesome choice. It’s been a long road; and it’s going be an even longer road ahead. However, I am super excited to see where the Navy takes me in the future.” Shafer also thanked her mentor and friend, Lt. Cmdr. Mike Mosi, who was vital in her Navy career. “I knew this guy before I joined. He was a newly appointed ensign and he’s been with me since I started this adventure. I can’t believe I’m here…I can’t believe you’re here,” joked Shafer.
Upon receiving her commission, Shafer received her first salute from Master Chief Damage Controlman Vince Barry, and passed her first class collar insignia on to NMCB 133’s Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Rachel Albers whom she believes will be a great first class petty officer.
Senior Master Sergeant Tobbie May (left) pins the on ensign bar on Ens. Michal Shafer’s uniform during her commissioning ceremony.. (Photo by MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams/150925-N-EW956-044)
The LDO Program provides commissioning opportunities to qualified senior enlisted personnel such as chief petty officers (E-7 through E-9), and E-6 personnel who are selection board-eligible for E-7 as well as chief warrant officers. LDOs are affectionately known as “Mustangs” because they are considered a creature of mixed and multiple breeds. LDOs serve as division officers, department heads, executive officers and commanding officers, ashore or afloat.