Posted at 2:24 PM
Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce employees in honor of Veteran’s Day.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, the Department of Commerce is proud to highlight two Navy Veterans who continue their service to our nation at the Economics and Statistics Administration.
I currently work as a senior program analyst for the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the Economics & Statistics Administration (ESA). I have 14 years of civilian federal service, and I am currently ESA’s principal point of contact for the Privacy Act, FOIA, open government and records management program areas.
Prior to my civilian government career, I retired as a U.S. Navy Commander serving in a succession of leadership roles overseas (Keflavik, Iceland; Naples, Italy; and Sasebo, Japan) – which involved directing the allocation of personnel, financial assets and plant resources.
I felt tremendous professional satisfaction in helping the Navy meet its mission objectives while interacting with foreign naval personnel and officials. In addition, I had the opportunity to serve in many challenging and differing roles such as an Intelligence Watch Officer for the Fleet Ocean Surveillance Center in Norfolk, Va., and subsequently, as a Chief Staff Officer in Sasebo, Japan.
One of the great things the Navy does is enable service members to quickly learn how to manage shifting priorities, an invaluable skill which often pays dividends in future careers both inside and outside of the government.
In considering the next generation, I frequently encourage young people to learn as much as they can about the various military branches, and I think seeking advice from active service members is very helpful when career planning. And most importantly, I recommend pursuing goals with a flexible attitude and zeal for challenging roles that require great communication, organization and analytical skills!
I am currently a budget analyst at ESA, and I previously served on the USS Detroit, which was a logistical ship based out of New Jersey and part of the USS Enterprise Battle Group. I was honored to receive two commendations: the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Navy Excellence Award.
After immigrating from Sierra Leone, I felt that joining the U.S. Navy was an appealing way to pursue the American Dream, invest my time and energy, and begin a new life serving in my adopted homeland.
My U.S. Navy career focused primarily on financial management, fund disbursements involving wages and benefits, and overseas vendor financial logistics during my deployments. In addition, I served as my division’s training officer; and I had both shore and sea duty assignments, which included numerous deployments to the Middle East and European regions.
Throughout my subsequent 16 years of federal service, I have continued to focus on budgeting and financial management practices. My military service has been an immense influence for me personally and professionally as I continue safeguarding public funds, maintaining federal accountability and serving my fellow citizens.
While my time in the Navy was very professionally fulfilling, my military service helped me to more fully understand and appreciate the tremendous sacrifices many others have made to protect our nation’s freedoms. Equally immeasurable is the personal satisfaction derived from serving and defending our country and freedoms.