I served over 20 years (1988-2009) as a Counterintelligence (CI)/Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Specialist conducting CI operations and investigations and HUMINT operations, collecting information to satisfy tactical, operational and strategic-level intelligence requirements. I deployed in support of numerous Marine Corps and joint intelligence and Special operations forces, to countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Qatar, Djibouti, and Afghanistan. In 1993, I was wounded during combat operations in the Bakara market of Mogadishu, Somalia. However my most memorable assignment was during 1997-2001, when I served as the Internal Security Chief at the Presidential Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1 – “Marine One”) supporting both President Clinton and President Bush. During that time, I traveled to over 40 countries all over the world supporting Presidential missions.
I would like to sincerely express my deepest gratitude in being selected as a Harold and Muriel Berkman Charitable Foundation Scholarship recipient. My current work as a Defense contractor keeps me separated from my family for extended periods. This award will assist me in completing my “final mile” by expediting my degree and allowing me to seek a change in career (Cybersecurity) that will afford me more quality time with my family. My son is 11, has ADHD, and can be a real challenge at times; he will certainly benefit from more “dad time.” My daughter is pre-teen and is also at an age where she needs more guidance and influence from dad. The career change will not only keep me grounded at home but also allow me more opportunity for advancement; something my current career position has not offered me in over eight years. The change will also afford me the opportunity to devote more time to support my non-profit work (Balanced Life Warriors) providing Jui Jitsu and Yoga training for veterans with symptoms of combat trauma/PTSD (some of whom are fellow USF students). it is difficult to express in mere words how much this means to me and my family.