By Lt. Cmdr. Frederick Martin
Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F), visited Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., to speak with midshipmen attending Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Chicago Area Consortium, Oct. 24, 2019.
As an alumnus of Northwestern, Franchetti dedicated a day to speaking with midshipmen about how her time at the school affected her leadership, experiences in the Navy, and her perspective as commander of a naval fleet. The depth of her experience spurred various questions from the midshipmen, some of whom could be serving as division officers on ships by this time next year.
"The experiences I had on campus at Northwestern provided the foundation for me to build upon as entered naval service 34 years ago," said Franchetti. "My time in the unit and as a coxswain on the Northwestern crew team, taught me about teamwork, leadership, and perseverance under adversity. As a leader and a maritime professional, I have continually drawn on those formative experiences."
"Vice Admiral Franchetti's lessons on leadership were particularly valuable to the midshipmen," said Capt. Christopher Adams, NROTC Chicago Consortium Commanding Officer. "They reflect on her priorities; the importance of integrity, taking care of your people and what that really means, and the challenges that the midshipmen may face. It was immediately relatable to them, and I think it will continue to pay dividends for them as they gain experience in the Navy and Marine Corps."
That evening, Franchetti was presented with the Northwestern Alumni Medal, the highest honor given by the Northwestern Alumni Association for those whose work, life, and service exemplify the ideals of the university.
"Northwestern gave - and continues to give - us all the tools we need to be successful and to make a difference in the world around us, whether in the work environment, at home, or in volunteer organizations," said Franchetti.
Her previous assignments as a career Surface Warfare Officer include commanding officer, USS Ross (DDG 71); commander, Destroyer Squadon 21; commander, Carrier Strike Groups 9 and 15; and commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. Franchetti now commands U.S. 6th Fleet and Striking and Support Forces NATO.
The NROTC Chicago Area Consortium is composed of undergraduate students from Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, and Loyola University - Chicago. The unit is located Northwestern University's campus, where students from the schools attend Naval Science classes, leadership labs, and physical training.
The NROTC program develops young men and women morally, mentally and physically and instills in them the highest ideals of honor, courage and commitment. The program educates and trains young men and women for leadership positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.