Military Service

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Having spent over 50% of my adult life committed to serving my country, I have gained invaluable skills, leadership experience, and respect for people from every walk of life. My military service and sacrifice has energized me to continue my service to each and every American.

 

Leadership

My naval career began as a young Ensign on the USS Nashville (LPD-13), followed by both the USS Saipan (LHA-2) and the USS George Washington (CVN-73) respectfully. I learned so much about leadership, people, the world, and myself while on this string of assignments. Through deployments far from home, we learned about sacrifice and the importance of being ready and able to rapidly respond to incidents anywhere in the world. It also showed me the significance of responsibility! I woke and slept with responsibility for the safety and well being of the ship’s crew whose lives were often entrusted to my leadership. I was  often the only assurance to their families that their young, brave sailors would arrive home safely from deployment. It was a responsibility I didn’t and still don’t take lightly.

 

Strategic command

Represented the U.S. Navy in missions that ensured America’s ability to perform joint military operations, which provided safety and security of our forces abroad. The missons involved working with leaders from over 39 countries as well as many NATO and Non-NATO military leaders. In doing so, we worked with leaders from many NATO and Non-NATO countries in Europe to host planning conferences for our end game – Joint Exercise “Combined Endeavor,” held yearly in Grafenvohr, Germany. I met amazing men and women from countries around the world with whom I share a fraternal bond; one that is created when you are a part of an unbreakable team… there to protect each other in times of war!

 

Policy

As Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity, I led Navy-wide cross-functional groups to address claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, and hazing. I also had responsibility to provide input into Navy and DOD Diversity and EO policies. Under my executive leadership, we collectively (with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion) developed policy to select and promote junior military officers that ensured a more diverse and inclusive Navy. My mission was two-fold: (1) to assist the civilian director in molding a Navy reflective of our great country using survey data collection  and reports to expose leadership shortcomings, and (2) to provide global implicit bias training that would alleviate it. It was a responsibility that gave me a first-hand look at flaws in an actual governing system and why it is so important to have protections for diversity and inclusion in place to deter and alleviate injustice. I loved the positive impact I was able to make on so many Sailors in a world-wide footprint of responsibility!

My final assignment as a naval officer couldn’t have been a better one! I was given an opportunity to work with top state-level officials all the way down to the classrooms to plan, design, and implement underwater robotics programs in Title I schools. The Navy recognized the need to empower, develop, and nurture youth interest in STEM careers (very important to the navy) at an early age. Early engagement with students helped them build confidence in their abilities, and was a long-term investment in the Navy’s mission to construct a Navy of the future, reflective of the society it serves.

 

Timeline

 

1989 – U.S. Army, Private First class (enlisted)

1989 – U.S. Army, promoted to Specialist (E4) after bootcamp

1990 – Begin undergraduate study

1991 – U.S. Army, promoted to Sergeant (E5)

1996 – U.S. Army, Ended term of Service (ETS)

1997 – Undergraduate Degree earned.

1998 – U.S. Navy, Commissioned as Ensign (O1) via Officer Candidate School (OCS)

2000 – U.S. Navy, promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade (O2)

2002 – U.S. Navy, promoted to Lieutenant (O3)

2008 – U.S. Navy, promoted to Lieutenant Commander (O4)

2016 – U.S. Navy, retired as LCDR in Houston, TX Dec 1, 2016