Commander Robert Allan Schlegel

Commander Robert  Allan  Schlegel

Though he contemplated a career in journalism, Cmdr. Robert Allan Schlegel, 38, of Alexandria, Va., followed his father and two brothers into the Navy and was recently promoted to commander. It was the highest ranking received in his family--which has 60 years of naval experience--and earned the 15-year veteran a new office at the Pentagon.

There, on the second floor, he scheduled and assigned the cruise routes and dates for Navy ships, according to his sister-in-law, Debbie Schlegel, who has known him since they attended Gray-New Gloucester High School together in Maine. His office was believed to be at the point of impact where the jetliner crashed into the Pentagon, said his family.

"He'd always come over and play with our kids, getting that `uncle' time in when [his brother David] was out at sea," Debbie Schlegel said. "He was an all-around great kid."

After high school, Schlegel left Maine to attend Washington and Lee University in Virginia, where he majored in journalism and minored in French. He worked as a reporter at the Lewiston Sun Journal in Maine but changed careers and trained to be an officer in the Navy. In 1996 he was named the commanding officer of the Atlantic Tomahawk Afloat Planning System. Before he moved to the Pentagon last year, he was executive officer for the destroyer USS Radford.

An avid sports fan, Schlegel loved to play hockey, watch football and compete with his brothers and nephew at video games.

He lived in the D.C. area with his wife, Dawn. Back home in Gray, Maine, the community held a candlelight vigil.

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

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