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Confessions of a Government Employee: Why I Became a Civil Servant

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As I gaze out my office window, I see the Pentagon to the left and the Capitol to my right. I would be able to see the Washington Monument if it weren’t for a certain hotel chain that decided to obscure my view of the DC skyline — but I’ll save that rant for another day.

Nevertheless, as I peer out the window it dawns on me that I come from three generations of civil servants and I am sitting smack dab in the middle of civil servant central. I can’t help but wonder, “How did I get here?”

My mind reaches back to growing up as an Army brat. Being the son of Colonel Eddie Rosado (my dad is still in the Army with a million years and counting), I was surrounded by military life from the moment I took my first breath.

I vividly remember my mom, older brother and I seeing my dad off to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield Desert Storm in 1990. I was four at the time but recall my mom taking on the duty of Family Readiness Group Leader for all of the other spouses in my dad’s battalion. I remember the sense of strength my mom exhibited by remaining composed in the face of wives coming apart at the seams while they witness horrifying war footage on CNN. Even though my dad was thousands of miles away, my mom never let her emotions get the best of her. In turn I think that rubbed off on me and instilled a sense of importance of how the mission matters. I think this was the seed being planted for what I would later decide to do with my career path.

My father was deployed several other times after Desert Shield Desert Storm. Every time he departed, my family knew my father’s duty of serving this country was something bigger and more critical than our desire to keep him home. Furthermore, being raised on more military installations than I have fingers always kept the undertaking of serving our country in focus, ingrained into my brain for eternity and something I have always strived to keep alive.

I later found the aspiration to be a civil servant spanned to my both my parent’s fathers who served in the military. My late grandfather, who passed away in April 2014 (may he rest in peace), literally died serving his country by falling victim to the harmful side effects of exposure to Agent Orange during his tour in Vietnam.

When the time came for me to pursue higher education, I found myself in the DC Metro area where civil service thrives beyond comprehension. I naturally felt myself drawn to employment that lent itself to supporting the government. My first job out of college was with a government contractor working focusing on contracts for the U.S. Army coincidentally. I later joined the U.S. Postal Service as a full-fledged fed, which further quenched my thirst for supporting work that served the entire American population. And now I work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ensuring the safety of the traveling public.

I have found there is no better joy than getting up in the morning and knowing what you do with your day is going to ensure your homeland remains the land of the free and home of the brave. It fills me with joy that I follow in the footsteps of men who understood the importance of being a civil servant. So, I confess as I snap out of my DC skyline gazing reverie, I am grateful for the contentment that comes with the certainty of knowing I am exactly where I am suppose to be. I am a civil servant.

This post is dedicated to my father and my grandfathers.

Ryan Rosado is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Profile Photo Eva Fulton

Excellent article! I too am a Veteran and my perspective is that I am still “serving” our Country, just not in uniform anymore. I love my job and serving is an honor!

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Profile Photo Patrick Fiorenza

This was a fantastic posts. Will go down in the “GovLoop Must Read File,” thanks for sharing – and thanks for your service to our country. Incredible story.

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Profile Photo Dijon N. Rolle

Ryan,

Great read! With all the negative news about the government and sequestration lately, there are times when we need to be reminded about WHY we serve sometimes. Thank you for sharing your story.

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