Job Title: Military Officer
Type of Company: Currently I am in a organization that leads the planning efforts for our nation's ballistic missile defense. Earlier in my naval career, I was a helicopter pilot.
Education: BS, Ocean Engineering, US Naval Academy MA, Defense Studies, King's College, University of London
Previous Experience: I worked at a variety of jobs in high school. I graduated from the Naval Academy and have been in the Navy since then, working all over the world.
Job Tasks: I am the Deputy Commander of an organization within the United States Strategic Command. The organization is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I run the day-to-day operations, with about 140 military and civilian employees and some consultants from a private company. Many of our non-military personnel served in the military earlier in their careers.
The organization plays an important role in the development and planning of our missile defense, which protects us against the threat of attack from countries such as North Korea and Iran. The missile defense system is very complex, so there is much to learn about the technical capabilities of the system. Many of the employees worked with aspects of the system in previous jobs, but everyone has much to learn once they get a job with this organization.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my current job is knowing that what I do is very important for my country. The worst part is the relatively long hours. I usually work about 11-12 hours a day.
Job Tips: If you are interested in the military, complete college and become an officer. The pay and opportunities are much better than as an enlisted military member. You don't need to know everything before you show up for your first day at work. Be ready to work hard from the outset.
Additional Thoughts: I have truly enjoyed the military career. It is difficult to leave my family to go to sea for extended periods. It is also difficult on the family to keep moving. These are challenges all of us, but it is a worthwhile sacrifice.
In the military, there are all sorts of opportunities. After graduating from college and becoming a naval officer, I completed flight training and became a helicopter pilot. Throughout my career I have had many jobs flying helicopters, which was challenging and exciting. As I get toward the end of my career, I am no longer flying but still get a chance to do interesting things. Recently, I served as navigator on an aircraft carrier. Before my current assignment, I was the commanding officer of a large ship based in Japan. It was a very interesting job. The ship was the headquarters for all the US Navy in the Western Pacific. Being the Commanding Officer of a ship is an incredibly taxing job, but it also very rewarding.
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