I am a retired U.S. Navy First Class Petty Officer. In 1998, I took advantage of the Fifteen Year Early Retirement program. While serving on four Aircraft Carriers in the Western Pacific, the U.S. Navy shaped and prepared me for what has turned out to be a career that I only dreamed of.
During my enlistment, I found myself helping and defending shipmates that were not provided the same opportunities as others. At the time, I was just doing what I thought was right! I did not know how I always seemed to be there during these sailors time of need, but, never the less I was there.
After my retirement, I was encouraged by a retired Coast Guard friend to apply for an Equal Opportunity Specialist position with the Department of Labor (DOL), regulating Affirmative Action for Federal Contractors. I was hired. As I learned and understood the importance and necessity of Affirmative Action, I began to understand what I had been doing while I was in the navy; "Helping and defending my shipmates". I was ensuring Equal Opportunity before I even knew what it was. For this reason, the Navy was very instrumental in my maturation and success into my Dream Job!
I spent seven year working with the DOL, and was subsequently hired by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture - USDA, in this position, I conducted Civil Rights reviews of Land-Grant Universities. After four years, I was hired as the Director, EEO and Diversity and the Principle Advisor to the National Taxpayer Advocate in Washington, DC.
I never would have thought this Airmen Apprentice/E-1 would someday become the Principle Advisor to the National Taxpayer Advocate, attaining the GS-15 grade level after only 10 years of federal civilian service.