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Resilience, Work Ethic Help Navy Veteran Chart His Path at STLCC

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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RJ Weiman in the Wildwood gardenBefore Richard “RJ” Weiman became a student at St. Louis Community College, he was an intelligence analyst and cryptologic technician in the U.S. Navy.

According to Weiman, the nine years he spent in the military were some of the most formative years of his life.

“When I was in the Navy, I had the opportunity to travel the world three times over,” he said. “The experience provided me with valuable training and skills.”

Weiman said one of the biggest lessons he learned in the Navy was how to adapt to change.

“Military life requires you to be flexible,” he said. “The experience taught me to be resilient, work hard and keep moving forward, no matter what obstacles come my way.”

In the Navy, Weiman’s job was focused on breaking codes and collecting intelligence. He received several accolades for his work, including a Joint Service Commendation medal and a Director of National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement medal.

Weiman was honorably discharged in 2017. After that, he enrolled at STLCC-Wildwood on the GI Bill. He currently is working to complete the prerequisite courses needed for a bachelor’s degree in engineering science.

RJ Weiman and a tank“I chose this degree path because I like to break things and try to figure out how they work,” he said.

Outside of the classroom, Weiman serves as president of Wildwood’s Green for Life club. He is also a member of the Student Government Association. An enthusiastic gardener, Weiman is currently trying to launch his own line of hot sauces.

Stephanie Church, coordinator for campus life and college transition, described Weiman as a wonderful person and exemplary student at Wildwood.

“I have a deep respect for RJ’s service to his country and his community,” Church said. “Not only is he beloved and appreciated by his fellow students, but he also is a walking example of resilience, which is absolutely vital in the world we are all experiencing today. His leadership skills are second to none, and we are fortunate to have him share his time and talents with us.”

When asked what advice he would offer others who may have an interest in military service, he said, “Military life is not easy, but there are some great benefits. If you are looking for an avenue to pursue your education and change your life, it could be a great choice for you.”

Learn more about STLCC Veteran Services.

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