Title: Senior Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
1. What was your path to public service/current job?
I served in the U.S. Army 20 years from 1973 to 1993 so that makes me a Vietnam-era veteran. Early on in my military career I learned that being in the All-volunteer Army had its stigma among the then unappreciative general public. The country was trying to shake off the idea of having lost a war in Vietnam so “serving your country” didn’t amount to much. It was then that I realized that one person could make a difference even if I was at the bottom of the totem pole in the military heirarchy of the early 70s. Each time I wore the uniform, I ensured all my medals and brass was up to snuff especially in public. I wasn’t going to let negativity affect my patriotism. At each opportunity in speaking with people on the street, I would let them know the importance of public service and would encourage younger people to consider serving in the military — even if it meant serving for two or three years. I guess I must have been affected by JFK when he stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country…” After I retired from the Army I saw another opportunity to continue “serving” my country as a federal employee – so here I am.
2. What awesome projects are you working on now?
Supporting my commanding general and his senior leaders in the development and implementation of space and missile defense technology in support of combatant commands and the war fighter in theater. Our organization focuses on three core tasks:
- Providing trained and ready space and missile defense forces and capabilities to the component commands and in support of the warfighter;
- Building future space and missile defense forces;
- Researching, testing, and integrating space, missile defense, high altitude, directed energy, and other related technologies.
3. What have been some of your most memorable experiences in public service?
Coodinating support with our local communities for such events as the Veterans Day parade and public recognition of wounded warriors. We can’t do enough for those Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines who have sacrificed so much for our nation’s freedom.
4. What advice do you have for people who are new to the public sector?
Pay attention to the philosophy and vision of your leaders and do your best to make their ideas come to fruition. In the Army we live the following seven values:
— Selfless Service
— Personal Courage