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Daniel Mullen 

Naval Aviator
Sea Gull

Years as a Camper: 6 (1 year as a trainee) 

Years as a Staff Member/Position(s) held: 1 (Junior Counselor) 

Current Profession and Title: US Naval Aviator, Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot at HSC-3 in San Diego, CA.  

How do the values or skills learned at Camp show up in your everyday work or personal life?  

I focused heavily on sailing during my time as a camper and the day in, day out practice allowed me to hone the craft and compete. Every time I competed in regattas, progression and ranking were merit-based and skill dependent, so to win I had to be dedicated to learning and focusing. “Keep following the guy in front of you. One day you’ll pass him” resonated with me when I was young and I continued to apply that mentality through college and into my professional life.  

Camp gave me so many memories I can’t even begin to count, but it was always tremendous to see friends year after year coming back to Camp. Even more, than a decade later, I still keep in contact with some of the guys I met at Camp and we greet each other like old friends even when we haven’t seen each other in years. They influenced major decisions like my college choice and we all have helped each other professionally. 

What person or situation influenced you most at Camp and why did they/it impact you? 

Without a doubt, the pursuit of my lightning skipper rank was the most influential part of my time at Sea Gull. Lightning skipper required practice and patience during training, studying when I was not on the water, and finally required you to perform under pressure during the evaluation. I failed more than once and it took almost two full summers of work before I possessed the required knowledge and skill to pass. The satisfaction of standing up in the Mess Hall to be recognized as the first Lightning Skipper of that year remains with me to this day. I recognize many parallels in my career as a Naval Aviator in hindsight. 

Favorite Camp food: Meatball Sub  

Favorite book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy  

Favorite sports team: Auburn Tigers! War Eagle!  

Morning person or night owl? Morning person. I’m up with the sun every day. 

Who is your hero? I have always admired my father’s dedication to our family, the wisdom he shared over the years, and the care he takes to be an exceptional physician.