12 Nov Meet Kathy Wallace, Program Manager
Criterion has many veterans and active reservists among its leadership and staff. In recognition of Veteran’s Day, we have created this new blog column to showcase these wonderful people. Today you will meet two leaders: Kathy Wallace and John Pross. We will be sharing the stories of other veterans each month, and you will find them all in our Life at Criterion category.
What branch did you serve in?
United States Army
What was your position?
I was fortunate enough to have found the perfect career field for me right off the bat. Military Intelligence, specifically Electronics Intelligence (ELINT), gave me the opportunity to work in a variety of environments, including supporting units in the infantry, airborne, and aviation fields. My favorite position was probably with the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion and the best part of that job was flight duty onboard the OV-1D/RV-1D Mohawk.
What was the time frame you were in the military?
What was the most rewarding aspect of serving in the military?
Pushing myself to excel and achieving my goals. I remember when I first enlisted, I anticipated support from past high school teachers and college professors. Instead they tried to talk me out of it, said it wasn’t the right path for me, and that I wouldn’t succeed. I was motivated to prove them wrong. I loved the work, the environment, the comradery, and the new experiences. I pushed myself past the goals I originally set and ultimately reached the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.
What lessons learned during your service do you apply to your job now in the civilian sector?
One of the most valuable lessons I learned while in the U.S. Army is the value of teamwork. Even the smartest or strongest individual cannot achieve alone what the level of a cohesive team, motivated to accomplish the same goal, can. Training, both as a team and as individuals, ensures everyone can meet their full potential.
Why did you choose to pursue a job in Government Contracting? How do you like it?
The opportunity to work in government contracting fell into my lap after I retired from the service. I had not given it much thought until I was approached by a company willing to give me the opportunity to retrain into the field of information technology. I wanted to continue working with the military and this was a great way to accomplish this goal. I didn’t want to let my new employer down, so I worked hard to excel at this new career and soon found it was another great fit. I love the opportunity to continue supporting our military.
What advice would you give to military members who are about to re-enter civilian life?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Also, feel free to talk about your achievements with potential employers. How you rise to a challenge, solve problems, work as a team – these are all skills employers will appreciate.