16 Feb Veterans’ Voices: Meet Mark, Project Manager
Today, we get to know Mark, a Project Manager at Criterion and veteran of the United States Navy.
What branch did you serve in?
What was your position?
I was a FTG1 E6. FTG stands for “Fire Control Guns,” which is basically a Torpedo Guidance Specialist. I was responsible for maintaining the computers for our torpedoes on my diesel submarine. In fact, I served on the last diesel submarine in the Navy: The USS Blueback SS-581. She is now a museum in a river in Portland, Ore.
What was the time frame you were in the military?
1982 – 1992
What was the most rewarding aspect of serving in the military?
The experience not only helped me grow as a person but also allowed me the luxury of attending many valuable training schools, all for free! It really helped me figure out a career path.
What lessons learned during your service do you apply to your job now in the civilian sector?
The most valuable lesson I learned was a work ethic and how to study and learn new things. On board my submarine you had to certify in every single system before you could receive what they called your Dolphins. I was trained on things like hydraulics, potable water systems, diesel engines, batteries, electronics, etc. The entire certification process took over a year to complete.
After I became certified, I began working the job I was brought on board to do full-time. It was kind of like going to college but with much more hands-on training.
Why did you choose to pursue a job in Government Contracting? How do you like it?
I have always wanted to make a difference in the world and felt that using my background from the service would help me to provide value in the Government sector. The amazing thing to me is that I have now held a security clearance, (DOD/DOE) for 40 years now. Wow, how time flies!
What advice would you give to military members who are about to re-enter civilian life?
Remember, time flies! Take advantage of all the training the military has to offer you, which will help you on the outside. And don’t forget to plan for your retirement – it will sneak up on you faster than you realize.