In days past, when face-to-face meetings were common, we often connected during a social mixer or dinner. Conversations started with our names, who we worked for, where we lived and more. In today’s environment these interactions are limited. How then do we communicate our thoughts from the perspective of our past? This post is to do that.
Our personality is shaped by our background and my early years were shaped by serving in the US Army. No one in my family had served in the military, but I needed money for college and received an ROTC scholarship. After graduation, nine years were spent as a combat engineer, whose primary function was enabling our military to move (build bridges, breach minefields, etc.) or taking away the enemy’s ability to move (blow up roads or bridges and building obstacles using lots of explosives). Want to talk about fun? A 23-year-old with 160 tons of high explosives during the Cold War. I also studied military tactics including strategy, and learned quite a bit about how our adversaries operate.
However, combat in the military is for the young and it was obviously time to transition. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to teach mechanical engineering at the US Military Academy at West Point. Along the way I became fluent in software development and was familiar with the needs of the most cyber attacked organization in the world, the US Department of Defense. Understanding cybersecurity was an absolute mandate.
Even though I am now serving the utility and energy sector, those early years of military experiences have shaped the way I think. How our adversaries are carrying out their cybersecurity campaigns is incredibly similar to how they carry out traditional military operations
On a personal note, I have been married 45 years to my first wife Cheryl. Cheryl is an electrical engineer and we both graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder; we have dinner conversations that most couples can’t. We love to travel and golf and have two cats named Birdie and Bogey (Bogey can’t putt).