Student Veteran Spotlight: Mitchel Zaleski

November 7, 2019

Academic program: Pre-Nursing

Branch: U.S. Navy

Time served: Sep/2008-Sep/2012

Why did you enlist?

At the time I had no idea what to do with my life and I needed work, so I decided to look at all my options. I ultimately picked (the Navy) because all my family was Army but I wanted to be the different one, HA!

Tell us about your service. What did you do? What was your role?

In the end, I was a Boatswains Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class (BM3) with a Surface Warfare Qualification (SW). My primary job was overall preservation and maintenance of the ship I was stationed to, which was the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG58). I was also a Damage Control (Firefighter) Training Team member on my ship.

Were you deployed?

You can say that, four times in four years. Two to Africa, one on the west coast, and the other on the east coast. Once in Europe (England, Spain, Greece, etc.) and my last one was in Iraq.

What's one of your fondest memories from when you served?

When I went to the east coast of Africa, I went to an island called Seychelles and it was the most amazing place of my life! It can’t be described. I need to go back soon.

What do you think are the most important skills you gained from your time in the service?

The military gives you a various amount of skills but one off the top of my head is leadership because without it I would not be able to lead Student Veterans of America on campus.

How does SCTCC fit into your future plans?

One of my many goals is to complete a master’s in nursing or maybe even one day my PhD.

What is the SVA?

Student Veterans of America (SVA) is a group of individuals who are currently serving, who have served, dependents of military members, and those who support the military in general. We are based in the Veteran Resource Center(s) (VRC) with two homes on campus in the main building (1-328) and in the Health Science building (103). Everyone is welcome to come in do homework, watch a show or two, have a talk, or even just stop by and thank us (had that happen a few times).

Crissy Quigley