NAME: Sgt. 1st Class Aaron M. StrackeHometown: Dallas, TexasUnit: Regional Cyber Center-Continental United States, Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)Job title: Cyber Network Defender (Military Occupational Specialty 25D)Duty title: Senior Cyber Network Defense AnalystQUICK SKETCH:- Earned the Distinguished Honor Graduate title in his Cyber Network Defender Course in April 2018- Holds 18 industry certifications in Information Technology and Cybersecurity- Is Army Penetration Tester certified and working toward becoming a certified instructor- Coded an application in Python that detects rogue Army websites- Was awarded the Bronze Order of Mercury by the Signal Corps Regimental Association- Is a member of the SysAdmin, Audit, Network and Security Global Information Assurance Certification (SANS GIAC) advisory board- Earned the Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association’s (Army enlisted) Military Information Technology (IT) Leadership Award for 2020ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT BEING PART OF THE NETCOM RCC TEAM:I love IT and cybersecurity. Working at the RCC-C -- Regional Cyber Center-Continental United States -- in the Defensive Cyber Operations-Division section allows me to fully immerse, utilize, and challenge my skills and abilities to help defend cyberspace for the Army.ON WHAT UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES HE BELIEVES A CAREER IN ARMY IT OFFERS:Working within Army systems and Department of Defense requirements presents an environment much more complex than many commercial sectors. Creativity is essential in working within this unique, global Army environment.ON WHAT HE WOULD SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING A CAREER IN ARMY IT OR THE ARMY SIGNAL CORPS:The best decision that I’ve ever made was to apply for 25D: Cyber Network Defender. Do it!ON WHAT HE BELIEVES A CAREER WITH NETCOM OFFERS THAT OTHER CAREER PATHS DON’T:The NETCOM environment offers exposure to a much broader set of technologies all at once, that subordinate echelons don’t normally see. This allows Soldiers to see a much broader picture and understand the global environment more clearly.ON WHY HE BELIEVES HIS LEADERSHIP NOMINATED HIM FOR THE MILITARY IT LEADERSHIP AWARD:I believe my leadership chose me for volunteering to work on developing solutions and showing initiative, and because I am focused on self-improvement, which is displayed in those efforts.ON HOW HE FEELS THE RCC TEAM HELPED HIM EARN THE 2020 (ARMY ENLISTED) MILITARY IT LEADERSHIP AWARD:I believe that my supervisors and leadership supported this effort best by allowing me to do what I love- cybersecurity.ON HOW HE FEELS ABOUT EARNING THE 2020 (ARMY ENLISTED) MILITARY IT LEADERSHIP AWARD:I am both humbled and honored at the same time. I don’t typically seek recognition in this way.ON WHAT HE WOULD SAY TO SOJMEONE INTERESTED IN COMPETING FOR THE MILITARY IT LEADERSHIP AWARD:I’ve always told my Soldiers that they need to be in a field that they genuinely enjoy. If you love what you do, excellence will be effortless and will be displayed in your work. Take every opportunity to hone your skills through training, certification, education and hands-on experience.ON HIS PROFESSIONAL PLANS AND GOALS:I am working on completion of my Bachelor of Science (degree) in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance with Western Governors University. Hopefully soon, I am also planning to take the premier certification -- GIAC Security Expert (GSE).ON HOW HIS FAMILY AND LEADERSHIP FEEL ABOUT HIM EARNING THE MILITARY IT LEADERSHIP AWARD:My leadership was very pleased to hear the announcement, and my daughter is very excited to go to Washington, D.C. for the presentation.-----ABOUT US: United States Army Cyber Command integrates and conducts full-spectrum cyberspace operations, electronic warfare, and information operations, ensuring freedom of action for friendly forces in and through the cyber domain and the information environment, while denying the same to our adversaries.Interested in the challenge of joining the Army Cyber team? Check out military and civilian cyber career and employment opportunities by clicking on the "Careers" tab at www.arcyber.army.milLearn more about the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command at netcom.army.mil/