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Engineers Week Spotlight: Lt. j. g. Nathan Henderson Reinvents Himself as a Navy Engineer

02/24/21 12:17 PM

photo of Lt. j. g. Nathan Henderson

WASHINGTON - Lt. j. g. Nathan Henderson, assistant resident officer in charge of construction, is representing the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington team serving at Joint Base Andrews for Engineers Week.

Henderson hails from Tuscaloosa, Ala. He was always interested in math and construction growing up, but initially pursued biology while attending The University of Alabama as a pre-med student. It was not long however before his passion for construction took over.

“I’ve always found it satisfying to watch a plot of land become a structure,” Henderson said. “That led to my dad recommending civil engineering as a degree to pursue, and in my sophomore year, I switched my major from biology to civil engineering.”

Henderson graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree and began working at large general construction company as an engineer working primarily on runway repair projects. The company landed a project at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., and that is when he was introduced to NAVFAC.

“I became familiar with NAVFAC processes, policies, and their overall mission of supporting the warfighter. I decided to forego my opportunities in the civilian sector and pursue acceptance into the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) within the U.S. Navy. A few months later, and after some intense studying for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, I was accepted and off to Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I.”

Henderson has served with NAVFAC Washington in Washington D.C. since December 2019 and is currently the lead construction manager for the Executive Airlift Hangar Complex at Joint Base Andrews. He leads a team of 13 personnel covering all aspects of project management, which has helped develop his leadership and problem solving skills.

“There’s truly no better profession for developing problem solving skills. Add to that, there will always be a need for engineers. I urge everyone to not shy away from ‘tough majors’, rather embrace the difficulty of the subjects and curriculum. By committing yourself to pursuing a career in engineering, you’re saying to yourself, and everyone else, that you choose hard things; that you push yourself to be the best that you can be.”

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