Valley Forge midshipman selects first assignment

Navy Midshipman Austin H. Drayton, son of Geoffrey W. Drayton and Cynthia D McKinney of Valley Forge, PA, recently selected his first ship assignment during a Ship Selection ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

Drayton is scheduled to report to USS Bulkeley.

Ship Selection is the culmination of the service assignment process for Naval Academy midshipmen designated to serve as commissioned Navy Surface Warfare Officers upon graduation. As Navy Surface Warfare Officers, these midshipmen may be in charge of any number of shipboard operations and activities while at sea, and are trained extensively to maintain and operate Navy ships, their crews and their systems.

For the selection process, midshipmen are placed in order by their overall order of merit, which is their cumulative class rank based on academic, military and physical standings within their class. The options available to the midshipmen for selection include a variety of Navy ships, such as destroyers and frigates, based out of homeports worldwide. Midshipmen are only permitted to choose from the selection still available at the time their name is called.


At the event the midshipmen had the opportunity to meet their future leadership and were welcomed into the Surface Warfare community.

Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, Commander of Naval Surface Forces, addressed the midshipmen at the beginning of the ceremony and Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5), was also in attendance.

The future 243 Surface Warfare Officers of the Naval Academy class of 2014 will graduate May 23 and report for duty aboard their selected ships soon after.

Drayton is a 2010 graduate of The Haverford High School, Haverford, PA.