Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Military Occupational Specialty: 17C - Cyber Operations Specialist
Duty title: Cyber Operations NCO, Army Cyber Protection Brigade
(NOTE: Rank, MOS and duty information correct at time of interview)
-- Joined the Army with a degree in philosophy
-- Enlisted as a combat medic and later reclassified into cyber field
-- Says he changed careers after being inspired by a news report about an elderly man who taught himself computer coding at an advanced age
ON WHY HE MADE THE CAREER CHANGE TO ARMY CYBER:
"I loved being a medic ... (but) there's not as many opportunities there, even if you have a lot of the certifications and badges ... there's only a handful of things. … So I was like, 'I want to do something that's going to challenge me, that I still find fun.' Also, if I decide to get out I have a lot more experience and a lot more resume-building skills that I can use."
ON HIS CYBER EXPERIENCE:
"Before I joined (cyber), if it wasn't for video games or basic stuff like that -- I wasn't the guy on the computer fixing my router. … I still don't sit there (on the computer) all the time, but I find I'm picking up more and more because I'm constantly doing it at work. And I come home and do certain stuff. And I was taking a developer class last year, so that was a lot of programming. And I'm in school right now for computer science. So I've learned a lot in a couple of years."
ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT CYBER:
"I like it for the programming aspect, the challenging aspect. You're always learning something new. There's always room to grow. There's always another skill you can learn that can build your resume. … If you want to stay in this field it's because you love it, and that's what I want to do. I don't want to be in the military because I'm forced to. I want to stay in because I love what I'm doing. And I feel like I can do that more here."
ON WHAT HE WOULD TELL SOMEONE CONSIDERING AN ARMY CYBER CAREER:
"If you want to come in and you like to solve puzzles, sit by the computer a lot, can deal with being frustrated by not knowing something -- because they answer's not always clear … so we all have to sit down together and figure it out. If you can deal with that kind of open-endedness, this is the field for you. … And if you want something that's going to be competitive on the outside, this is probably one of the most booming things, in the military and out. That's another reason why this might be the field for you."
For information on uniformed Army Cyber careers, go to www.goarmy.com/army-cyber.html
For information on Army cyber civilian career opportunities, select the "Careers" menu at www.arcyber.army.mil
ABOUT US: United States Army Cyber Command directs and conducts integrated electronic warfare, information and cyberspace operations as authorized, or directed, to ensure freedom of action in and through cyberspace and the information environment, and to deny the same to our adversaries.