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A Cut Above: Bobby Macko    

May 9, 2018

Bobby Macko '16, posing in front of a training aircraft at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
Bobby Macko '16, posing in front of a training aircraft at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

By Patrick Temperilli, Academic Affairs

When meeting Bobby Macko there’s an expression that springs to mind: “squared away”. His crew cut and firm handshake – usually indicative of a military lifestyle – makes him seem as if he has everything under control. In Macko’s case, it’s true.

Self-assured and Aggie Ring proudly displayed, he was forthright in explaining what’s shaped his life; his father was a U.S. Army drill instructor. “He taught me how to follow, and that has taught me how to lead,” says Macko. 

An important lesson: When he was in third grade, his father asked him to do his dishes after dinner, which Macko forgot to do. His father woke him in the middle of the night and had him doing push-ups in the kitchen, asking him if he understood why and if he’d make the same mistake again. “He smoked me,” laughed Macko.

The eldest of three, Macko was responsible for ensuring the house ran smoothly during his father’s deployments.  His mother, a nurse, worked long hours most days, and even through weekends. Instead of spending his days outside playing ball in the street, he was making sure his little brother did his homework. “I had to step up,” said Macko.

When it came time to find a college, Macko considered his love of fishing and the ocean. Despite his father being Army, Macko wanted to be at sea. He searched Texas for schools with a Navy ROTC program along the coast, with Texas A&M University at Galveston being the only option that fit the bill and welcomed him with open arms. He jumped at the opportunity and never looked back.

Despite having no relatives affiliated with Texas A&M, Macko quickly bonded with the Aggie Family. “Growing up an Army brat who’s always on the move, coming to Galveston I was able to grow some roots for the first time,” he said. 

Macko became a staple of campus life at TAMUG, throwing himself in a multitude of activities, including several campus jobs, becoming a Yell Leader, and even co-founding – along with classmate Justin Schwartz – the Maroon Delegates, a distinguished student organization that serves as ambassadors for the university.

He also had success in his academics under the guidance of professors such as Drs. Charles Coleman, Glenn Jones and Sam Brody, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Ocean and Coastal Resources in the spring of 2016. 

Macko pointed out the open-door policy as key to his academic success. “You know the professors on a personal level.  It’s one-on-one. They care about you," he said.

When asked if he ever felt like he had bitten off more than he could chew, he laughed. “I want goals that seem out of reach, and then I want to work my butt off to get there.”

Macko also participated in the Corps of Cadets, where he was placed in leadership positions to teach him the importance of being in command. Being responsible for the success of his fellow cadets forced him to draw on lessons from his childhood: putting others first and ensuring they had the tools and support they needed to complete their assignments. 

His leadership style also emphasizes building relationships, getting to know your people and advocating for them. “Their success is your success,” he says.

Macko completed Officer Candidate School (OCS) with the U.S. Navy shortly after graduation. Being a commissioned officer in the Navy is one thing, but Macko has his goals set sky high, and he is currently attending flight school to achieve them.

Everything in his life seems to have prepared him for this route: His father’s lesson in the kitchen, helping with his siblings, his time in the Corps, and his mentors at TAMUG, have all shaped Macko into a leader, rising a cut above.


Media contact:
Patrick Temperilli, Academic Affairs, 409.740.4783

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Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.