When Bernadette Wackerle graduated from Western Michigan University with her degree in mechanical engineering, she debated on a few careers before deciding to join the Department of the Navy (DON). Just as thousands of other college students began to think about their careers post graduation, Wackerle was focusing on positions that were not necessarily targeted on civilian careers. Instead, she looked at careers that were near her and focused on the auto industry. It took a conversation with her former teaching assistant to help her figure out what she wanted to do in her career.
After weighing her options, she decided to take a civilian job in the DON. “He asked me what would be more interesting and challenging…working on something like fasteners in the car industry or designing, developing and producing rocket motors that would be used for close air support for the Marine Corps and other branches of the armed forces,” said Wackerle.
Since joining the DON, she has earned her master’s degree in mechanical engineering focusing on energetics from the University of Maryland and has participated in various training opportunities. She currently manages the reactivation of a production line that had been shut down for more than 15 years to produce double-based propellant grains for rocket motors.
Thousands of civilian careers in the DON offer real world challenges with real life rewards – careers where purpose and patriotism unite. Questions on DON civilian employment information may be directed to the DON Employment Information Center at DonEIC@navy.mil or by visiting www.donhr.navy.mil.