Prior to joining the military, I completed two year of premedical studies at a post-secondary institute. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field but I made the decision to gain some practical training before I committed the next 6-8 years of my life to completing a medical degree. I enlisted in the Army as a 91W Health Care Specialist...aka combat medic. Following three years of service, to include a year in Iraq, I made the decision to leave the Army and pursue other interests (that did not immediately translate to going back to school). A few things stuck out to me from my time in the military service. One, the children in Iraq had little to no future. There were very little educational opportunities, let along career opportunities. The second was, I was amazed at how few military spouses, due to frequent relocations, had career opportunities here in the United States. I sensed that I was at a crossroads in my life; I could either commit to finishing up a medical degree or I could explore further how I could help to solve these two issues I came to realize. I did some work with a temp. agency to make ends meet before I was able to find a job that would begin to scratch the surface of these two passions. As I continued to find the "right" job for me, I went back to school and eventually earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management, followed by a Master’s of Science in Human Resource Management. While in school, I began working as a Designated School Official for a post-secondary school in the International Student Department. About a year into this, I was promoted to Assistant Registrar for Student Certification Services, which eventually led to a promotion to Director of Special Student populations. In this role, I managed both the International Student Visa process, which led to working with thousands of international students who wanted to come to the United States to pursue a degree. Second, I was able to give back to Veterans and their families by helping them with their education and career goals. After five or so years of this, a new opportunity arose to work on a contract with the DoD on their Military Spouse Employment Partnership Program. I helped to develop the MySECO website and create the content that helped military spouses explore education and career opportunities. Three years into the program, I transitioned to a contract working with the Department of Veterans Affairs in a human capital capacity. I entered the world of competency modeling, leadership development and a myriad of other HC initiatives. After a few more years of contracting, I realized that my talents would best be served in a Federal role. I accepted a job with the Department of Commerce as a Program Manager for Leadership Development. Since taking on this role, I have created a Leadership Program within the agency that is allowing employees to prepare themselves to take on the responsibilities or leading a team, unit, department or even bureau. Every day, I am instrumental in helping others reach their career goals and this is one of the motivating factors that makes me enjoy coming to the office every day. I would not say that I have the best job in the government, but I am completely satisfied with where I am at in my career. The military was instrumental in helping me reach the point I am at in my career. The values the military instilled in me, helped me to become dedicated to whatever task it was that I was working on. I took a sense of pride in completing tasks; I learned the value of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. These guiding principles have helped me to become the person I am and be as successful as I have been in whatever career path I have chosen for myself.