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Alumni Spotlight: Catching Up with Ben DeCastro, Class of 2016

By October 3, 2021December 15th, 2021News

Since graduating Pennfield, Ben has had a global adventure. His travels began in Europe where he attended three years of high school at Naples Middle High School, a Department of Defense school in Naples, Italy. His family then moved to Singapore where he graduated from Singapore American School and was accepted to the United States Naval Academy. He boarded a flight on June 30, 2020 for Annapolis, and due to COVID restrictions has not been home to see his family in nearly 18 months. 

So, how is his college experience going?

The Naval Academy’s strict COVID protocols allowed Ben to complete the majority of his Plebe (freshman) year classes in person. 

After his Plebe year, he participated in a program called PROTRAMID (Professional Training Midshipman) where he sailed on a US Navy Yard Patrol Craft to develop professional skills as a deck officer.  During that time Ben spent four, one-week training sessions divided between the US Marine Corps, where he learned about land warfare; Naval aviation, where he had the opportunity to fly in a trainer aircraft (the same type his dad flew in as a Midshipman); the Naval Submarine community, where he was able to go to sea on a Ballistic Missile Submarine; and the Naval Surface force where he toured a number of ships in Norfolk Virginia.  The exposure to different naval communities will help Ben to make his service assignment decision his first class or senior year. 

Currently, Ben is a 3/C Midshipman currently in his “youngster” year or sophomore year at the United States Naval Academy.  He is majoring in history and is a member of the water polo club. He is also active in the Jewish Midshipman club.

 He plans to visit his family in Singapore over the holiday break, as COVID restrictions in Singapore are starting to loosen. This summer he will participate in “summer cruise” where he will be assigned to a surface ship in the US Navy to learn more about shipboard life and operations. 

What does he miss most about Pennfield?

He looks fondly back on his experience at Pennfield and misses the weekly classes with Mr. Kelley where students have an opportunity to discuss current affairs and other topics.  

We love learning about the achievements of our alumni and sharing their stories, so please reach out to us and share your good news. Email Rob Kelley ( or visit our alumni page to submit your story. We look forward to hearing from you!