The Undersea Executive

April 22, 2016
• by
Matthew S. Thatcher
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As the Executive Officer onboard the Virginia-class submarine USS CALIFORNIA SSN-781, I am faced with new leadership challenges daily. Managing a $2.5 billion nuclear-powered warship run by more than 135 trained crewmembers and designed to go into harm's way to defend our nation's interests around the world demands extraordinary leadership abilities. I would never have been as prepared as I am today if it were not for my experiences and training at USC Marshall.

I made it to USC after accepting an assignment as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science for USC's Naval ROTC program. As a US Naval Academy undergrad and an ambitious submarine lieutenant, I wanted a shore assignment that would immerse me in a rich academic environment, where I could not only develop America's future leaders, but also continue my own education.

Joining the Trojan Family was one of the greatest decisions in my life. While teaching, I decided to attend the MBA program at Marshall to foster my own self-growth. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn from leaders and managers that have been successful in other fields of work.

Following my time at Marshall and at USC, I served as a department head onboard another submarine in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and as the flag aide to the Director of the Nuclear Propulsion program. As a Congressional Liaison for the Secretary of the Navy Financial Management and Comptroller, I ran the submarine portfolio in the Department of Navy's budget, working directly with the House and Senate Appropriations committees on Capitol Hill.

The Breadth and Depth of USC Marshall

The business skills in finance, accounting and leadership I developed while at Marshall have been crucial to every position I have held. To this day, I still reach out to my USC peers and mentors for insight and direction during trying times.

As Executive Officer of California's only active name state ship, a name filled with such rich history and tradition, I am constantly reminded of the responsibility I have to uphold the highest levels of leadership, integrity and service to country. I wanted to take the time to say thank you to Marshall and USC for preparing me for this incredible responsibility.

Please join me in supporting the USC Marshall School of Business — the school that has made so many graduates the leaders we are today.

Fight On!

LCDR Matthew S. Thatcher, USN, MBA '09

Marshall Thought Box:
"The business skills in finance, accounting and leadership I developed while at Marshall have been crucial to every position I have held. To this day, I still reach out to my USC peers and mentors for insight and direction during trying times."

Matthew S. Thatcher '09