Personal Statement Essay

996 words - 4 pages

After graduating from high school just outside of Sedona, Arizona in 1989, I wanted to get out of the small town and go see the world. The Navy recruiter must have seen me coming from a mile away! I did well on my entrance exams and was selected to attend Naval Nuclear Power School. After several years of task-based math and physics education followed by operational training at a prototype plant, I reported to a submarine in San Diego to put all of my training to use. As it turns out, real life application of my newfound knowledge was more difficult than I imagined. I quickly learned that no matter how much I think I know about a task through study alone, experience, including both successes and failures, plays a key role in the ability to apply that knowledge.
After nearly a decade of operating, maintaining and ultimately supervising nuclear power plants on three different submarines operating in every major ocean in the world, I became bored with nuclear power and started to learn everything I could about Information Technology (IT). My nuclear training background made me all too familiar with studying technical publications, so it was relatively easy to get “book smart” about IT. I went to my first shore duty in 1998 and within a year, I had become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. I soon began selling my supervisors on how a little upfront investment in IT now would result in substantial efficiencies in the years to come. By the end of 2001, I had implemented and was operating a 500+ user LAN/WAN connecting our team in Bangor, Washington with our team in Washington D.C., allowing the folks back east to analyze and make decisions based on near real-time trend data. Shortly thereafter and with the support of my wife and children, I soon began working towards my B.S. in Information Technology with the intent to get out of the Navy and start into the civilian IT sector.
As I was making the decision to part ways with the Navy my Commodore recommended that I try to gain my commission into the Navy’s new officer community, Information Professional (IP). Much to my chagrin, they were initially only filling positions with lateral transfers from other officer communities. I applied to be a Supply Corps Officer which is the Navy’s equivalent of a Business Manager. Supply Corps Officers deal with accounting, budgeting, supply chain management and general logistics. I fully intended to request a lateral transfer to the IP community after my first tour of duty. My first tour was as a Submarine Supply Officer, affectionately called a “Chop”, and by mid tour I was convinced that I could leverage my information systems skills...

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