Meagan Barron graduates from AMW WTI programVirginia Women’s Institute for Leadership alumna Meagan Barron ’15 has been certified one of the best of the best in tactics. She is the youngest graduate of the Amphibious Warfare Tactics Instructor (AMW WTI) program for the U.S. Navy. A challenging program to produce elite operators, WTI is the surface warfare community’s equivalent of Top Gun.

“Simply put, I saw something I wanted and went after it,” Barron said. “I’ve wanted to be in the Navy since I was 8 years old. I immediately deployed on a tremendous ship about 10 days after I graduated from Mary Baldwin. I fell in love with the surface warfare community and even more so the complexity of the amphibious mission of getting Marines to shore — any time, any place in the world.”

Barron completed the intensive three-month, graduate-level course covering multiple aspects of amphibious warfare, as well as integrating with members of the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune.

“I heard about the program but at that time it was not available for me to do so early in my career,” she said. “A few months later I put in a package with the thought of ‘yes it’s early, but what can it hurt?’ And I got in! Of 14 students, six were the rank of O-4 Lieutenant Commander, seven O-3 Lieutenants, and myself, a LTJG. I am the 30th AMW WTI to graduate from this excellent program, and, yes at this point, the youngest.”