Upon graduating from Northeastern University with a BSCE in 1960, I immediately lost my temporary draft deferment, joined a local U.S. Army Reserve Unit and was assigned to heavy weapons.
A few days before my six-month active duty training obligation was to end at Fort Jackson, S.C., President John F. Kennedy put my unit on alert. It was April 1961, and we had no idea why. But we got our gear together and waited. It was canceled within a few days, to our relief. Some time later we leaned it had been prompted by the Bay of Pigs invasion.
That month, I thankfully headed home with the additional five-and-a-half-year obligation with my reserve unit, "The Pilgrim Division," out of Massachusetts.
Within a few months, I was fortunate to find employment at the Boston Naval Shipyard as a naval architect. They sent me to MIT half the workweek to convert me from designing land-based structures to designing naval ships. It was a really exciting phase of my career.
In 1966, I was hired as chief of structural design and supervisor of shipbuilding at the Quincy, Mass., shipyard, where General Dynamics was designing the vessels supervised by the U.S. Navy. I had the pleasure of working for Admiral Hyman Rickover, checking nuclear containment designs on submarines.
Later I was hired by the Army Corps of Engineers, where I continued until my retirement in 1994, giving more than 30 years of service - active and civilian - to this great country of ours.
There have been thousands upon thousands of unsung heroes - scientists, engineers, craft persons and others - the folks who who do the designing and the logistics who provide the support for our men on the sea and on the land.
Branch of Service:
Bob N. Maki