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A spirit that is not afraid

The Mariners Make Auburn National Headquarters

Many students arrive at college with a desire to get involved on campus and give back to the community.

The Mariners, a service organization that supports Auburn University's Naval ROTC, does just that.

Formed in 1977 by a group of women who saw that the NROTC needed support, Auburn's chapter is the National Headquarters for the Mariners, as it was the first in the country to be established.

The all-female group participates and helps with the NROTC drills, Junior ROTC drill meets and intramural sports, said Lt. James Dickey, the adviser for the Mariners.

They also help out the local community through various service projects throughout the year.

"We attend a few functions with the NROTC members every year," said Morgan Bridges, the Mariners co-president. "We also work at the food bank, participate in Relay for Life, and volunteer at the human society and community nursing homes."

Twice a semester the Mariners help with the NROTC physical fitness training by giving out refreshments and food, making it a great way to interact on campus and get involved.

"The Mariners provide a unique service opportunity for students at Auburn while creating an easy atmosphere to get connected with students who have similar interests," Bridges said.

Aside from service, the group also hosts several social activities allowing its members to get to know the men and women in the unit better.

"In the past we have done things like themed movie nights, game nights and a Thanksgiving dinner," Bridges said. "But I'm hoping to try some new things this year like maybe a casino night."

An annual fall screening is held where potential members are interviewed.

Members of the Mariners pride themselves on supporting those who are doing so much for the country.

"They're offering a lot for our country and it makes me feel good to know that I can give back to them even if it's in just a small way," Ashley Mund, co-president of the Mariners, said. "I just want to give them a thanks for what they're doing."

The group meets once a week to discuss upcoming events and activities.

The group provides a great way for students to connect and interact.

Auburn's Mariners have earned multiple service awards in the past, and other universities are looking to them for help.

The University of Mississippi's NROTC has called on Auburn to help them get their Mariners chapter up and running again, Bridges said.

The Mariners are planning a trip to visit Mississippi and help out the university in any way they can, Bridges said.

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"They willingly volunteer their free time to help out the guys and girls that will go on after college in the service of their country and they willingly volunteer to help out on campus and around town," Dickey said. "It's great to be an adviser to a group of people that raise the standard for the rest of us."

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