Navy Vet Finds Fulfillment in Obtaining College Degree

Navy Vet Finds Fulfillment in Obtaining College Degree

WASHINGTON- David Schlienz, a Greenville resident, decided right out of high school that he wanted to serve in United States Navy. He completed 27 years of active and reserve duty. However, once he transitioned back into the civilian workforce, he found it difficult to keep a job without the formal education to back his experience.

Schlienz began taking a few courses at a local community college and was doing well.  However, when he was recalled for Operation Desert Shield Storm, his education once again was put on the back burner.

“I was gone for 13 months and no longer had the drive to return to school, so I jumped back into the workforce,” said Schlienz.

Schlienz worked at a couple of different jobs within the manufacturing industry, but with the recession in full swing and his short tenure, he was the first to be let go.

“I was fortunate in that I was able to utilize my time in the reserves for various recall opportunities during the recession,” explained Schlienz.

In 2009 Schlienz married the love of his life, Kimberly.  “She is the one who has made the biggest, most positive influence in my life,” he said.  “She is also the one who encouraged me to return to school.”

Schlienz enrolled in the business management program at the University of Mount Olive at Washington in April 2012.  The courses met his interests and helped him secure a job as a buyer and planner for Telair U.S. Cargo Systems in Goldsboro, where he has worked since 2013.

During his four years with UMO, Schlienz has juggled a busy schedule.  He lives in Greenville, works in Goldsboro and attends classes in Washington. “My schedule is demanding, but my family has been so supportive,” said Schlienz.  “UMO has provided me with the means to pursue my dream of completing my degree. With the awesome support staff and the way the instructors have challenged me, I have learned so much more than I thought I would. I see things a little differently today than I did four years ago, thanks to UMO.”

At age 51, Schlienz is on the path to graduate in May.

“It has been a long time coming, but certainly worth the effort,” Schlienz said.

Next on his list, Schlienz plans to pursue his purchasing manager certification.  But for now, he will reveal in the reality that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit