Mike Izbicki – Nuclear Submarine Officer to Conscientious Objector

Michael Izbicki graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2008 and was selected to be a nuclear submarine officer. He trained to operate the S5W nuclear reactor as the engineering officer of the watch. However, a spiritual transformation, fueled by Christianity’s teachings to “love your enemy,” lead Mike to the realization that he couldn’t participate in war. After two applications for discharge and a petition in federal court, the Navy discharged Mike as a conscientious objector in 2011. These discharges are extremely rare, and the case made national news in the NYTimes.

Currently, Mike is a Ph.D. student at UCR studying artificial intelligence. His research endeavors to simplify learning algorithms so they can be easily used by amateur programmers. Mike can be found homebrewing beer in his spare time. Inspired by the brewing tradition of Trappist monks, Mike developed the “Food not Bombs” Belgian dubble recipe, which won 2nd place out of 550 in LA’s Mayfaire 2012 homebrew competition. Mike likes to write about religion, programming and homebrew beer on his blog (http://izbicki.me).