Lindsey Schweitzer poses for a photo with her reenlistment papers.
Lindsey Schweitzer is a U.S. Navy veteran and current student in the Master of Science in Management Online program.

Veteran’s Day Student Spotlight: Lindsey Schweitzer

Lindsey Schweitzer is a student in the Master of Science in Management (MSM) Online program. She shares about her service in the Navy and how the program is enabling her to help others today.

Lindsey Schweitzer smiles for a photo.

Q: What is your background?

Schweitzer: “I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, but I have lived all over. After graduating high school, I joined the United States Navy and was stationed in Florida, Virginia and Bahrain. I also lived in Patuxent River, Maryland, shortly after leaving the Navy while my boyfriend at the time finished his last enlistment.

While in Maryland I earned an associate degree in both Exercise Science and Sports Management from the College of Southern Maryland. We eventually moved back to Florida so that I could earn my bachelor’s in Exercise Science from the University of Central Florida.

My experiences and travel in the Navy led me to fall in love with adventure. I make it a point to go on one big vacation a year and a few smaller vacations throughout the year to learn and experience new things. This has given me the chance to white water raft on the rivers in North Carolina and Tennessee, go canyoneering down a waterfall and see many of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Navy helped me to become more outgoing and open to new things.”

Q: What do you remember about the day you enlisted? What was basic training like?

Schweitzer: “I do not remember much about the actual day I enlisted, but I do remember very clearly arriving at bootcamp and the eight weeks that followed. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. Growing up, my parents were very laid back where rules were concerned, so being screamed at within the first 5 minutes of stepping off the bus at bootcamp was definitely an eye opener.

Within the first week of being there, all our belongings were taken from us and mailed back home. We were issued all the supplies we needed. We were taught exactly how to do anything and everything that was expected of us. We weren’t allowed to talk during meals, so we had to learn how to ask for condiments from each other using hand signals. We had to lace our shoes a specific way, make our beds with sheets at 45-degree angles, fold and iron our laundry the way they showed us, as well as how to place everything in our ‘racks,’ or storage spaces. We weren’t allowed to call our families over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I missed the opportunity to call them on Christmas Eve, but I still have all the mail that they sent to me.

Although it was a huge learning experience for me, bootcamp helped prepare me to be out in the fleet. While stationed overseas, or on deployment in general, you will miss several holidays and making those memories with family. Furthermore, I learned attention to detail and how to push myself past my limits, which are both life skills that helped shape who I am today.”

Lindsey Schweitzer, in her Naval uniform.

Q: Tell us about your service in the Navy.

Schweitzer: “I was enlisted for just shy of 7 years. During that time, I was stationed in Manama, Bahrain for 2 years. I was terrified to hear that I was headed to the Middle East right after bootcamp. Once I got there, however, I quickly discovered how… “normal” life was. Just as I would have done here in America, I spent my free time going out to restaurants, the movies or the mall with friends, just like the locals. I quickly adjusted to life overseas and made several friends with people from different countries and cultures.”

Q: What do you miss about being in service?

Schweitzer: “The thing I miss most about being in the Navy is the camaraderie among sailors. Because you spend so much time with everyone, experiencing everything with each other, your shipmates become more like family than anything else. There was no avoiding individuals when your personalities didn’t get along. Just like a brother or sister, you would have to figure it out and move on. After all, in the event of facing a life-or-death situation, these were the people who would be there to save each other.

The traveling was also different than taking a vacation. We didn’t get to pick where we were going or for how long, so I would get to see and experience cultures in a different way than I do now. I mean, how often do you plan a vacation overseas to places such as Duqm, Oman, and only for 2-3 days?

However, spending my 25th birthday with my Navy family in the Middle East after being at sea for over 100 days straight was probably one of my best memories of deployment. The feeling you get from this kind of experience cannot be imagined or even recreated without experiencing a deployment first-hand.”

Schweitzer poses with her partner and two dogs.

Q: Why did you join the MS Management Online program? What do you enjoy the most in the MSM Online program?

Schweitzer: “The Navy does many things for a person. One of those is teaching you about the opportunities that are available when you’re willing to adapt to changing circumstances. My original plan was to become a physical therapist to help others, but as time went on, I found that I still had a strong connection to the Navy and wanted to be a part of that community.

Again, I miss the camaraderie and want to contribute to those who are still serving. Shifting to the MS Management Online program allows me to work for a defense contractor where I know what we do has a direct effect.”

Q: Tell us a cool fact about you.

Schweitzer: “I started taking ballroom dance lessons about 4 years ago and fell in love. Now, whatever free time I have between schoolwork and focusing on my career, I dance as much as possible. My favorite dance is the Rumba; however, I can freely dance the Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Hustle, West Coast Swing, Salsa, Bachata, and Samba as well.”