Living underwater at extreme depths for days or weeks at a time, demolishing or retrieving wreckage, going on classified missions in the trenches of the ocean — just a typical day for 2nd class Naval Diver Robert Glennon, who considers himself “a normal student.” Six years ago at the age of 17, Glennon went under oath swearing his life to the U.S Navy, never looking back.
“I wanted to serve my country, but a huge part of it is the experience it provides and getting out there,” says Glennon.
“Being in the Navy is a great time, a lot of it is going out there to see the world. The education opportunities are fantastic.”
Glennon is the first recipient of the Veterans Success Scholarship, a fund raised during the 2016 Tiger Giving Day crowdfunding campaign. The $5,000 goal had a 143-percent success rate for a total donation of $7,190 by the Auburn community.
The scholarship is part of the Veterans Success Program, which assists with the transition from military life to college life for veterans, active duty military and members of the U.S National Guard and Reserves.
To Glennon’s surprise he was assigned to Auburn University to complete his degree, which he was happy to oblige.
“I’ve always been an Auburn fan; I always wanted to come to Auburn,” Glennon explains.
Glennon applied for the scholarship through the Auburn Scholarship Opportunity Manager (AUSOM) service online and is grateful for every bit of financial assistance he can get.
“[The scholarship] really helps a lot,” he says. “Every bit I get is a dollar less I have to take out in student loans.”
Now 23 and a senior pursuing a physics degree at Auburn University, Glennon considers the balance between military and civilian life manageable.
“They don’t have me doing a whole lot while I am a student. I almost forget that I am in the Navy,” he says.
During his downtime, when not crunching numbers for his major, Glennon takes part in the Sailing club, an interest he picked up while stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
Glennon also assists the Naval ROTC every Tuesday morning, donning his uniform along with 15 active duty students, completing assigned jobs given by staff including the orientation for incoming cadets and seamen.
Post-graduation, Glennon will continue to stay in the Navy with the goal of becoming a pilot.
“Have you ever seen Top Gun? The lifestyle is great, the work is great, I think it’s the coolest job in the military,” says Glennon. “I’ve flown a plane before [and] I want to continue doing it.”
For Glennon’s projected career field as an aspiring naval aviator, his education does not require any specific major to apply, which is why he took up his favorite subject: physics.
In addition to his Physics degree, Glennon would like to receive a master’s degree in computer science.
Until then, Glennon is enjoying student life on land as an Auburn Tiger.
“I’m just a normal student right now, which is really cool,” Glennon says