More about:

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your service in the US military:

I grew up in small town Iowa and joined the Army National Guard at 17. I enlisted as a paratrooper, specializing in deep reconnaissance and surveillance. My military career has taken me all over the world; combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and international exercises in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Slovakia, and Alaska. I have been activated in support of humanitarian disaster relief, and even to assist with the first inauguration of President Obama in 2009. Now at 22 years of service - and still counting - I'm a Command Sergeant Major of a cavalry reconnaissance squadron.

I've been working at Rolls-Royce for over 11 years. I spent nearly six years as a structural analyst in Turbine Rotatives primarily focused on the T56/501 family of engines, before transitioning into my current role in System Design Operational Support (SDOS) supporting the AE 3007 engine series.

Outside of Rolls-Royce and the Army National Guard I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter.

What’s your role at Rolls-Royce?

I support the AE Defense team as an SDOS Engineer on the AE 3007H program. I provide equipment health monitoring, engine performance trend analysis, event investigation and aftermarket support to both our customers and other teams internal to Rolls-Royce. The SDOS team is continually working to improve our capabilities to detect, analyze, and ultimately predict engine issues to ensure reliable and optimal performance for our customers. As a Defense employee, ultimately my work supports the warfighter which naturally resonates with me.

What does being a reservist mean to you?

I originally joined the Army National Guard as a way to help pay for my college education; I didn't plan on making it a career initially. I'm very proud of my service and consider it an honor and privilege to have been able to serve my country and my community. In truth, I've received far more from the Army National Guard than I have given. I look back on my military career now and consider it the best decision I ever made, aside the one to marry my wife, of course.

What skills from your experience as a reservist have you used in your work for Rolls-Royce?

There are many, but I think three stand out; leadership, stress management, and problem solving. The Army gave me countless developmental opportunities that helped me hone my leadership style. Through successes and failures, I learned what approaches and techniques work best for me as I work and communicate with those I lead. My combat experiences forced me to develop stress management techniques, which have proven useful in the high tempo ambiguous environments that we often find ourselves in. I've learned to focus my energy on being solution oriented and tackle the problems or obstacles within my control or ability to influence. Finally, the creed of "mission success" drives me always. Working in Defense, I know firsthand the impact our work can have on the warfighter. When lives are at stake, failure is not an option.

What do your colleagues think of your service in the US military?

I've always received tremendous support of my military service from my management and co-workers at Rolls-Royce. I remember the care packages, letters, and the welcome back into the office following my return from deployment to Afghanistan. I think many are surprised at the extent of my career in the Army National Guard (in comparison to the active duty Army) and often ask me about my experiences; it's been a bit more than the typical ‘one weekend a month’ for me.