Today's Military:

Rob Niemeyer
Surface Warfare Officer

Service: Navy     |     Status: Officer

“The Naval Academy and serving in the Navy upon graduation appealed to my sense of adventure, my love of travel and my desire to serve my country.”

Like a lot of teenagers applying to colleges, Rob Niemeyer turned to a family member for guidance.

His brother, a teacher, seemed like the obvious choice. However, the advice he received was anything but the obvious.

Rob’s brother encouraged him to consider the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He pointed out that the academy provides phenomenal educational opportunities and would enable him to do something meaningful with his life at a very young age.

“The majority of my education has been funded by the Navy.”

After completing high school in 1998, Rob entered the Naval Academy, one of the most prestigious colleges in the country.

In addition to receiving a solid education, Rob also gained a strong foundation in leadership and Navy protocol. Rob graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in quantitative economics.

While the cost was fully funded by the Navy, attending meant Rob would be required to serve for five years in the Navy upon graduation – a task he was more than prepared for.

“I am currently a graduate student at Harvard Business School, working toward my master’s in business administration.”

Rob has also participated in a Navy-sponsored program called the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) MBA. As a participant in this program, Rob attended Massachusetts’ Harvard Business School full time. He then attended department head school (DHS) and returned to his fleet as a department head.

“There are many opportunities to excel in the Navy, but you have to be willing to put forth the time and effort.”

Rob credits the Military for where he is today. He feels he has received the types of opportunities he would not have in the civilian world.

This includes his time living in some of the most beautiful places in the country: Annapolis, Md.; Newport, R.I.; San Diego and Boston. It also includes his deployment to the Persian Gulf, where he saw places in the world that he never knew existed.

But Rob counts his experience in January 2005, when he was a training officer on the USS Thach (FFG 43), as his most rewarding experience to date. As part of a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf, he spent a day in East Timor, where he had the opportunity to organize a community service project. Upon anchoring in East Timor, Rob took 25 Sailors ashore to paint and refurbish a local elementary school for the day.

“If you are interested in leadership, serving your country and being a part of something much bigger than yourself, the Military is for you.”

Rob is counted on to work long hours and perform demanding and stressful jobs. At times, his life could be on the line. But for him, it is all worth it because with those challenges come rewards. As an officer, he is looked upon for leadership, and as a member of the Navy he will have many more opportunities to experience and see things for the very first time.

Rob’s Military Career Timeline

  • May 2002: Commissioned as an ensign midshipman upon graduating from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
  • June 2002: Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, R.I. (ensign)
  • December 2002: USS Coronado (AGF-11) in San Diego
  • January 2004: Damage Control Assistant School in Newport, R.I.
  • February 2004: USS Thach (FFG-43) in San Diego (promoted to lieutenant junior grade)
  • July 2007: Graduated from Harvard Business School in Boston on a military scholarship

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