West Point cadet, one of a kind summer intern

Posted: October 14, 2015 - 5:30pm

He sets his sights high and goes after what he wants. I. Greer is now a second-year cadet at West Point, the United States Military Academy in New York. The native Tennessean, an honors student majoring in physics and minoring in nuclear engineering, expects to fly Army helicopters one day. He spent a one-month tour at Y-12 as a summer intern and covered some unique terrain.

Greer shadowed experts in neutron detection, additive manufacturing, and Analytical Chemistry’s technical support and development labs; studied business analytics in the Mission Assurance organization and fire protection at the University of Tennessee; joined a Civil Support Team for courses at the Alarm Response Training facility; engaged force-on-force at the Central Training Facility; participated in a small-unit radiological and nuclear training exercise; and spent time with distinguished military visitors on site. “It was a full month with little down time and plenty of hands-on experience that’ll benefit me in school and my military career,” said the cadet.

During summers, military students usually have one month of vacation and two months of training. Greer spent a month in field training at West Point and then chose to train at Y-12 because of its reputation, materials science opportunities and proximity to his home in east Tennessee. “It was especially nice for me to spend a little weekend time in the mountains with family and friends,” he said.

“The Military Academic Collaboration (or MAC), a National Nuclear Security Administration¬̶-funded program, provides select cadets and midshipmen a first-rate experience working cutting-edge research and development opportunities in disciplines and technologies of mutual interest to the military/service academies, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, and NNSA,” said Garry Kuhn of NNSA. Educational needs generally drive assignments.

“During my junior year in high school, I saw a West Point posting. I knew it was a good school, and I made it my goal to get in,” said Greer. “The appointment process was grueling, but I got my appointment and made it through the background check and basic training.” He credits his first-year success to hard work and being placed in a good company. He’s now tutoring math and physics at the Academy.

Greer had a special high-level meeting while at Y-12, a one-on-one session with Jim Haynes, President and CEO of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC. “It was a nice opportunity,” said Greer. “He shared some of his experience, and we joked about him being a Naval Academy grad and me being at West Point. Mr. Haynes also gave me insightful advice about leadership – inside and outside the Academy.”

“We, at Y-12, were fortunate to be able to participate in the MAC program this year, and Greer was an outstanding intern,” said Program Integration’s Debbie Reed, who set up the internship and managed the intern’s schedule. “One day soon, our military interns will be officers making business and financial decisions about Y-12. They need to know who we are and what we do for our nation.”

Y-12 is helping shape America’s future military leaders, and this conscientious cadet soon will be flying high to ensure our safety and freedom.