Veteran Spotlight: Meet U.S. Air Force Veteran Joe

veteran portrait

Joe is a Communications Security Manager (COMSEC) and COMSEC enterprise compliance framework lead for Northrop Grumman. He started with the company as a secure communications network and maintenance technician, which ultimately evolved into his current role.

How long have you been with Northrop Grumman? How did you hear about us?

I have been with the company for about 14 years and was first hired on in December 2007. During my active duty military career, I worked with several Northrop Grumman employees that supported the special programs I was assigned to. I remember they were always very professional, knowledgeable, and fun to work with. To my surprise, I found out most of them had prior experience in the military.

vetaran in his military uniform on duty
U.S. Air Force Veteran Joe

What is your military background? How did your military background set you up for the role you are in now? What was your experience transitioning into Northrop Grumman as a veteran?

I enlisted in the Air Force in 1993 as a cryptographic maintenance technician and served on active duty until 2007. I spent most of my earlier years in the Air Force as a combat communications specialist and had two combat deployments. The first deployment was to Haiti to support Operation Uphold Democracy and the second deployment was to Bosnia-Herzegovina to support the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR). I also had three tours to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. I separated from active duty after 14 years of service, and was hired by Northrop Grumman in 2007. I was recruited back into the Air Force Reserves in 2009 and am currently serving as a reservist. I currently hold the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.      

vetaran in his military uniform on duty

My military background was key in preparing me to transfer over to the civilian sector. My Air Force Specialty code (AFSC) was in the information technology (IT) discipline. Because of that, I was able to receive formal IT training in computer networking, secure data and voice transmission, computer maintenance, network security, network engineering and installations, and lastly, mobile communications. Not only did the Air Force provide me with formal training, I also gained over 25 years of experience working in the field on active duty and the Air Force reserves. I took full advantage of the 100% tuition assistance the military offers while on active duty and earned my Bachelors of Science in Information Technology Management with honors from American Military University. Ultimately, I earned my Masters of Science in Information Technology Management with a concentration in Information Security and Assurance, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Purdue University Global.         

I had a great experience transitioning over to Northrop Grumman as a veteran. I was very fortunate that my hiring manager and direct supervisor both retired from the Air Force. Several of my co-workers were prior military as well, so aside from wearing a uniform to work every day, I felt right at home here at Northrop Grumman.

What do you hope to gain from your new role?

I hope that I can continue to grow and evolve with the company. Northrop Grumman is very dynamic and cutting edge, and I hope that I can keep up! Most importantly, I hope to grow as a manager and leader. I want to continue to effectively mentor and shape the employees I manage to help them become successful in both their professional careers and personal lives.   

vetaran in his military uniform on duty

What advice would you give to other veterans interested in a career in Northrop Grumman?

Don’t be afraid to cross over to the civilian sector – life is good on this side! Northrop Grumman is a great company to work for. I love the culture and, most importantly, the people I work with. I would also reemphasize that Northrop Grumman is a veteran-friendly company where you will meet and work with plenty of veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces.    

vetaran in his military uniform on duty

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