Navy student speaks of future

Heather Sobkowiak, IV Leader Staff

It was just another day at work for Brandi Battaglia. In late October 2011, Battaglia was on a break from Bergner’s in the Peru Mall when a military recruiter spotted her at a drinking fountain and forever changed her life.
The man approached Battaglia from his offices at the U.S. Armed Forces Career Center and asked her if she had ever considered joining the military. It was after speaking with Anthony Sinnott that she ultimately made a decision to join the U.S. Navy.
Being a college student and juggling life’s daily demands can be challenging. Between school, homework, extracurricular activities, a social life, and a job, it may become difficult to efficiently manage time. Toss in joining the military.
Twenty-year-old Battaglia recalled the day she “signed her life away” on Nov. 3, 2011, at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Chicago, the day she got sworn into the Navy.
For now, Battaglia attends IVCC full-time with 20 credit hours and wants to receive her Associate in Science before she begins training.
Battaglia’s training begins July 18 at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes where she will attend boot camp for eight weeks and make the transition from civilian to sailor.
After Battaglia graduates from RTC, she will continue her training and transfer to San Diego for 10 weeks to attend “A” School, where she will learn the fundamentals of her chosen technical field.
Battaglia plans on training in Sonar Technology (SGT). In SGT, technicians are responsible for keeping sonar equipment in good operating condition and surveillance underwater sounds produced by surface ships, torpedoes, evasion devices, marine life and other natural phenomena. STGs typically work in a small computer equipment room with little supervision.
During training, Battaglia will be allowed limited free time. Restrictions are lifted from a recruit after going through certain phases of knowledge about how the Navy works.
“Right now I have a lot to learn. The recognition of ranks, the ‘Sailor’s Creed,’ and the 11 General Orders, just to name a few things,” Battaglia says.
In her free time, Battaglia likes to spend time with her family and friends and babysit her twin nieces, Heaven and Nevaeh. She lives in Peru with her mother, Mari Pattelli, and stepdad, Jim Pattelli and has two dogs, Neka and Honz.
Along with going to school full-time and balancing a social life, Battaglia works two jobs: one at Bergner’s in Peru and with her mother at Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Princeton.
Battaglia said there were a lot of reasons behind her decision. “I hadn’t decided on a university to attend beyond IVCC and it was a way to get away from home. I also felt joining the Navy would give me financial stability and reassurance that I’ll have a job in the future.”
With less than four months left before her journey begins, Battaglia remains enthusiastic about the future. “I am excited, but I’m also scared that I’ll never want to come home. I’m worried I’ll miss watching my nieces grow up.”