For nearly two decades, I've navigated the ever-evolving challenges and triumphs of the tech industry, where innovation and agility drive progress, dedicating eight of those years to World Wide Technology (WWT). My path has taken me from the chaos of the helpdesk to the intricacies of security engineering, where I've risen through the ranks to navigate the strategic vistas of security leadership. In each step, the pursuit of excellence and innovation has remained a constant. 

Parallel to my civilian career, I've had the honor of serving in the United States Navy, both active and reserve. With 20 years of service as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, I am entrusted with the leadership as a Senior Enlisted Advisor. In this role, I've had the honor to lead a team whose mission includes supporting the Defense Support of Civil Authorities, responding to FEMA missions that require not just strategic foresight but a profound sense of duty, honor and commitment to our nation's welfare.

This dual journey has not been without its challenges, yet the convergence of these two distinct yet complementary paths has defined my professional and personal growth.  

As I retire from the Navy Reserves, I reflect on the symbiotic relationship between these two integral parts of my life and the lessons I've learned while navigating this journey. This blog post explores how the core values of honor, courage and commitment from my Navy career align and intersect with THE PATH (trust, humility, embrace change, passion, attitude, team player, and honesty and integrity) at WWT. It's a narrative of growth, leadership and the seamless integration of two worlds, each enriching the other unexpectedly and profoundly. 


Setting the Stage for a Dual Career 

Since the beginning of my tech career, I've been captivated by the endless frontier of innovation and the critical importance of cybersecurity. I started as a helpdesk analyst, where I laid the groundwork for my technical skills and understanding of user-centric IT solutions, and then progressed to a cybersecurity engineer, where I delved into the complexities of protecting digital infrastructures, a challenge that fueled my passion for the field. 

I expanded my expertise and impact in roles such as Security Consultant and Security Solutions Engineer, where I honed my abilities to navigate, anticipate and mitigate emerging security threats. In 2020, I moved into a leadership role on the Security Operations team, where I was responsible for WWT's SOC and Security Engineering. This marked a pivotal shift from technical mastery to strategic leadership, culminating in my current role as Practice Director - Security Operations in Global Cyber at WWT. Each step in my civilian career has been propelled by a drive for excellence, innovation and a deep commitment to safeguarding our digital world. 

Parallel to my progression in the tech sector, my career in the Navy Reserves has been equally dynamic and challenging. Enlisting as an E1 on Active Duty, I embarked on a journey of growth, leadership and service to our nation. My time serving on the USS Harry S. Truman introduced me to the rigorous demands and unparalleled camaraderie of naval service. Reserve assignments with USTRANSCOM and being activated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan provided critical insights into the complexities of global defense operations and the importance of resilience and strategic foresight. 

Further responsibilities with Expeditionary Strike Group SEVEN deepened my leadership skills and operational understanding. My journey through the ranks to E8 or Senior Chief Petty Officer culminated in my current position as Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Navy Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) community. This role encompasses leading and mentoring the enlisted force across eight regions, underscoring the Navy's commitment to national security and humanitarian assistance. 

This dual career path has been more than a balancing act; it has been a deliberate integration of skills, values and lessons learned from one domain to another, offering a more enriched and holistic approach to personal and professional development. 

Leadership Transitions and Growth 

From Naval Leadership to Tech Industry Strategy 

In 2016, a significant milestone marked my naval career as I moved into a leadership role as a Chief Petty Officer, expanding my responsibilities. I could no longer think about myself; now, I worked solely for my Sailors.  

This experience laid the groundwork for my subsequent leadership role at WWT in 2020. Transitioning to the role, I found the leadership skills acquired in the Navy—strategic planning, decision-making under pressure and leading diverse teams—were directly transferable and immensely beneficial in the civilian tech sector. My military service taught me the importance of clear communication, the value of structured discipline and the necessity of fostering a cohesive team culture—principles that are just as applicable to leading a high-performing team in the fast-paced world of technology. 

Skills Translation and Adaptation 

One of the most critical aspects of my leadership in the Navy has been the ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations, a skill that has proven invaluable at WWT. In the tech industry, where innovation and change are the only constants, the ability to lead through change—embracing it, managing it and leveraging it for growth—has been a critical factor in my success. My military experience in operational planning and execution has enhanced my ability to foresee potential challenges in the tech landscape, enabling proactive strategies that safeguard against future threats and capitalize on emerging opportunities. 

Moreover, the Navy's emphasis on honor, courage and commitment has translated into a leadership approach at WWT that prioritizes integrity, ethical decision-making and a relentless commitment to excellence. These values have fostered trust and respect within my teams, encouraging a culture of innovation, accountability and mutual support that drives success. 

Embracing the Leadership Mantle 

Reflecting on this journey, it's clear that the leadership role I assumed in the Navy in 2016 was not just a position of authority but a pivotal turning point that prepared me for greater challenges and opportunities in my civilian career. It has required a constant learning mindset, an openness to new perspectives, and resilience from years of service in diverse and demanding environments. It demonstrated that effective leadership transcends the boundaries of any single profession or industry and is rooted in universal principles of integrity, adaptability, and a commitment to the welfare and success of the team. 

As I continue to navigate my career at WWT, the lessons learned, and the leadership qualities honed in the Navy remain my guiding principles, drive not only my personal growth but also the collective success of our teams in the ever-evolving landscape of technology. 

Core Values as a Compass 

The Navy's principles of honor, courage and commitment have seamlessly intersected with WWT's core values of trust, humility, embrace change, passion, attitude, team player, and honesty and integrity (THE PATH). This alignment of values has been a guiding compass allowing me to navigate the complexities of a dual career and has also served as the foundation for my leadership philosophy and professional ethos. 

Honor and Integrity: The Ethical Bedrock 

Honor in the Navy instills a sense of accountability and integrity, principles that mirror WWT's emphasis on honesty and ethical conduct. This shared value has been critical in fostering an environment where decisions are made with transparency and actions are taken with integrity, whether planning a mission or strategizing a cybersecurity solution. It underscores the importance of doing what is right, even in the face of challenges, a lesson that has been instrumental in building trust and credibility in both my teams and our broader communities. 

Courage and Embracing Change: The Catalysts for Innovation 

The courage to face adversity and the unknown is closely linked to the ability to embrace change, a value highly regarded at WWT. In the military, courage involves not only physical bravery but also the moral strength to make difficult decisions. In the tech industry, embracing change is about innovating and adapting in a rapidly evolving landscape. This synergy has empowered me to lead with confidence, encouraging my teams to push boundaries, explore new possibilities, and adapt to technological shifts with agility and foresight. 

Commitment and Passion: Driving Excellence 

Commitment in the Navy is about dedication to the mission and the well-being of the team. At WWT, this translates into a passion for excellence and a relentless pursuit of goals. The shared ethos of commitment and passion has driven me to excel in both domains, championing projects that drive technological advancement while supporting initiatives that contribute to national security and community resilience. It's a dual commitment to making a difference, whether by enhancing cybersecurity defenses for our customers or supporting disaster relief efforts. 

Teamwork Across the Board  

Both the Navy and WWT cherish the value of being a team player, recognizing that collective effort is paramount to achieving success. The teamwork and camaraderie experienced in the Navy have been mirrored in the collaborative culture at WWT, where diverse perspectives are valued, and everyone works towards a common goal. This appreciation for teamwork has reinforced the importance of communication, mutual respect and shared responsibility in accomplishing objectives. 

Symbiosis in Action: The Delicate Dance of Dual Careers 

Navigating dual careers in the Navy Reserves and at WWT can be likened to a complex dance, where each career takes turns leading, depending on the rhythm of life's challenges and opportunities. Like any skilled dance, the art lies in the steps and the seamless coordination and balance between partners. At times, my military responsibilities dictate the pace, while at others, my role at WWT comes to the forefront. 

A significant part of this dance involves the Veterans Employee Resource Group at WWT, a platform that has allowed me to extend the ethos of service from my naval career into the corporate sphere. The Veterans ERG at WWT represents a critical intersection of these two worlds, providing a space where military values of leadership, teamwork, and commitment are celebrated and translated into corporate success. This group underscores the importance of community and support among veterans, enabling us to leverage our unique skills and perspectives to benefit the company and each other. My involvement with the Veterans ERG has not only been a continuation of my commitment to serving the veteran community but has also enhanced my leadership role at WWT by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment.  

It's here, in the collaboration and mutual support among veterans, that the dance of dual careers finds its most harmonious expression, embodying the best of both worlds in service to our community and our company. 

This integration of my naval experience with my role at WWT, facilitated by the Veterans ERG, illustrates the continuous interplay of learning, leading and serving. It highlights the delicate balance of not just managing dual careers but thriving in them, with each step informed by the values and experiences of the other. 

Conclusion: Reflecting on a Journey of Integration and Symbolic Transition 

Now at the horizon of my service, retiring from the Navy Reserves as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, the symbolism of my retirement date, April 1st, resonates deeply with me. This date is not just a marker of my transition but also a celebration of the Navy Chief's birthday, embodying the rich tradition and esteemed legacy of leadership within the Navy. The choice of this day for my retirement intertwines my journey of Navy Chiefs, known for their resilience, leadership, and unwavering commitment to their sailors and their country. It underscores the seamless integration of my naval experience with my civilian career, where each has enriched the other. This symbolic transition from a Senior Chief Petty Officer to focusing solely on my role at WWT signifies not an end but a new chapter of leadership and innovation, driven by the enduring principles learned at sea and applied in the realm of technology. 

The ascent through both career paths has been characterized not just by the titles held or the responsibilities shouldered but by the continuous learning, adaptation, and leadership development each step required. It has been a fusion of worlds where leadership, innovation, and a commitment to excellence have paved the path for success in both arenas. It is within the challenges of navigating the two that the most significant opportunities for growth emerge. The disciplined approach, strategic planning, and leadership skills refined in the Navy Reserves have been invaluable assets in my civilian role, instilling a unique perspective on team leadership, risk management, and crisis response. As I transition fully into my role at World Wide Technology, the lessons learned and values upheld as a Navy Chief—honor, courage and commitment—will continue to guide my contributions to our customer's technological advancement and leadership within the tech industry.