How UNL ROTC shapes a Navy midshipman


From his early childhood Tucker Bonow has always loved helping people. In high school, he volunteered at a local soup kitchen and completed over 50 hours of community service. Now he’s looking forward to serving others in a new way once he graduates from the Navy ROTC at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“I felt a calling to join the Navy to not only help people but also to pursue my passion of the ocean and leadership,” he said.

Bonow, an environmental studies major at UNL, says the Navy is his outlet to help people all over the world. He will be deployed in Sasebo, Japan, for the first two years, he said.

“My hope is that I will be able to use my position to help those less fortunate throughout the South Pacific.”

Tucker Bonow pointing to Sasebo, Japan where he will be stationed with the Navy.

Bonow’s specific duties have yet to be assigned, although he knows he will be a commanding officer. Because of his experience with ROTC at UNL, Bonow has been granted additional responsibility by the Navy to lead his fellow midshipmen. He was given the opportunity to choose where he will be stationed and he did not waste any time submitting his choice.

“I instantly decided on Japan,” he said. “I’m young, and this is the time in my life that I feel I will be able to travel the world and make an actual difference.”

Bonow sees it as his responsibility to serve the citizens of Asia. The Navy is responsible for the oceanic security of many small countries as well as the well-being of their people. His passion is obvious to his colleagues as well.

“Tucker has always been a guy that cares for not only people,” said Matt Ostdiek, another Navy ROTC student said. “but also for the environment.”

As an environmental studies major, Bonow is concerned for the well-being of Earth.

“We only get one planet, you know?” Bonow said. “I try to leave every place I go better than the way I found it. I plan on treating the places I go while I am stationed in Japan the same way.

Bonow is set to deploy at the end of May on the USS Greenbay. He plans to return to the U.S. at the end of his second year and serve what he calls a “shore tour.”

“I want to be an officer at an ROTC school to help students have the same experience that I hadbecause in my opinion, if everybody was in a program like the Navy, the world would be a much better place,” he said. “Cleaner, safer and more prosperous.”


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