The purpose of this blog entry is twofold:
- Provide some background on who I am and why I’m blogging here in the first place.
- Briefly explain how someone with a military background can help the commercial world.
Why I’m Blogging
Other than several internal organizational blogs, I really haven’t taken advantage of this communications medium. So why start now?
The answer lies completely in my recent transition from being a Unites States Army Officer to now being a Senior SharePoint Solutions Consultant at ICC out of Columbus, OH. In my former role, there was little need for blogging since the positions in which I served had very little need for public communications. In my new roles at ICC, however, I decided that this blog may be a great way to share my thoughts and ideas to others within the IT industry. I believe that these thoughts and ideas may have a slightly different twist given my military background.
It’s hard for even me to believe, but I spent nearly 30 years in The Army in one degree or another. After attending basic training in 1983, I spent the next two years in Army ROTC (commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1985) and a member of the Army Reserves from 1983-1987. After receiving my BS degree in Computer Science from Illinois State University in 1987, I spent nearly 25 years on Active Duty, finally retiring on 1 December 2012.
There’s very little value in listing all of my various assignments (that can be found on my LinkedIn Profile), but some of the key assignments include: Signal Corps Officer, Information Automation Officer, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Director of the Continental United States Theater Network Operations and Security Center, Information Management Officer, Knowledge Management Officer, Deputy Chief Information Officer, and Chief Information Officer.
Military-Private/Commercial Industry Linkage
My time in The Army has provided me many opportunities to lead some great soldiers, manage very complex tasks and situations, and attain some unique perspectives while performing in very senior positions. I believe these perspectives provide some unique insights for ICC, and more generally, the IT community, to leverage.
Over the year leading up to my retirement I was faced with many decisions (where to live, when to move, what insurance options are best, etc.), but the most significant one for me was deciding whether to take a job with companies that primarily supported Federal and/or Department of Defense (DoD) organizations, or to move completely away from that space. I concluded that staying within the Federal / DoD space would probably be the easiest transition for me since that is what I was most comfortable with, but it probably wouldn’t be the most rewarding work for me.
After being in the military for so many years, I learned that I yearned for new challenges such as taking new positions that I had never held previously. Therefore, I surmised that moving to the private industry would certainly be a challenge by taking me completely out of my “comfort zone.”
As it turns out, this transition has been MUCH easier than I had imagined. One of the primary reasons this has been easier than expected is that I’ve learned over the past four months while working for ICC that my military experiences (vice actual positions) nicely complements what is done in “the civilian world” that I’m now a member of. Therefore, one of the primary purposes of my blogs will be to relate my military experiences to what I see in the commercial IT industry and the clients that we serve.
I hope that those reading this blog will benefit from what I have to write about!
Even if you don’t personally benefit from my writings, I hope that you will at least recognize how you / your company can benefit from hiring some of my fellow Veterans. You will find many advantages to hiring a former military member to include people that have tremendous leadership, communications, and technical skills; live by a great set of values; and are ready to serve others. Here’s a resource from the Association of the United States Army that provides some great information to help you along. The HireMilitary.com site is also a great resource.
This transition has truly become a great, new, and exciting adventure that I continue to look forward in sharing!
Take care and I look forward to sharing my adventures with you!