Author: Nikhita Giridhar (‘19)
Robert Wynne MBA Class of 2019, U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Nikhita Giridhar (NG) : Do you come from a family of veterans?
Robert Wynne (RW) : My grandfather attended the Naval Academy in the 50’s, but he only served a few years before separating. Other than him, only my brother and I decided to serve in my extended family.
NG: When did you decide to join the Navy?
RW: Fall of junior year of high school I visited Annapolis, Maryland to tour the campus and shadow some Midshipmen. I was totally blown away by how well-rounded, confident, and larger-than-life they all seemed. I decided then that I wanted to attend the Naval Academy, but was unsure if I wanted to join the Navy or Marine Corps.
NG: Memorable moment from the Navy?
RW: I had the opportunity to serve in three very unique jobs, so I’ll take the liberty of listing two of my favorite events. Aboard USS BLUE RIDGE, I had the opportunity to navigate the ship into the port of Sydney in 2013, which if you have ever been is nestled in a harbour flanked by beautiful white cliffs and has a very unique urban topography you can survey from the ship’s bridge. It was incredible! Second one’s from my most recent command - I had the privilege to lead the Navy platoon in the Presidential Escort during the 2017 Inauguration. We practiced twenty seconds worth of marching probably a hundred times, and fortunately when the moment counted we looked great!
NG: Was it challenging to settle back into civilian life?
RW: Random Walk made the transition surprisingly easy. I love all my Prague/Berlin folks and they have been anchors (pun intended) throughout this emotional journey through Booth. The Armed Forces Group and Rugby Team have been fantastic and supportive. But really, my wonderful pupper Edmond Honda has been what keeps me most sane through the frenetic pace of recruiting, classes, and extra-curriculars.
NG: What’s the one thing that changed about you because of your time in the Navy?
RW: One of the unique things about the U.S. Navy, even relative to the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, is how constantly engaged you are around the world in foreign cultures and climes. The Naval Academy allowed me to study in Beijing for a semester and I spent the majority of my time from graduation to starting at Booth either living in or deploying to foreign countries. I look at Booth as a continuation of a lifelong exposure to a variety of cultures.
NG: How did your Naval experience prepare you for Booth?
RW: During the many times of uncertainty I face through the journey at Booth, I think back on the things my Sailors, friends, and I accomplished in the Navy and it gives me the confidence to press on. Also, the knowledge that there are Sailors across the globe standing the watch humbles me when I get too complain-y.
NG: Is there something that no one at Booth knows about you?
RW: I have an insatiable appetite for spicy foods and contend that I have the most tolerance for spice of anyone at Booth (challengers welcome).