New Year, Same Goal by Gunny Dave

Hey folks! It has been about a week since I wrote my last post after discussing the amazing skillbridge opportunity with ARES working with the NASA SLS and other parts of their contract. I enjoyed writing that post, but now it is time for me to refocus on my transition and getting ready for my upcoming MSSA skillbridge that starts next week!

First off, I feel like since it is a new year, I need to put something about what I want to accomplish in 2021. Honestly, not much has changed other than the last digit in the year for me…I started my transition journey last year when I was approved for my retirement date. If I am being honest with myself, it really didn’t start until I went to my retirement seminar in mid-September. Up to that point, I had no direction other than I wasn’t going to be a Marine after May 31st, 2021! Thanks to a wonderful week of briefs by the MCAS Beaufort transition staff and a little bit of LinkedIn mentorship by another Marine in the class, I realized I needed to step it up a bit!

Since then, I have spent a ton of time on LinkedIn building my personal brand, refining my profile with the help of an amazing session with Matt Quick, and learning cybersecurity and software development fundamentals. I haven’t been able to complete as much of the CompTIA Sec+ material as I had hoped, my goal was to be done and certified prior to starting my MSSA. To date, I have gotten about 40% done with the materials provided by the Onward to Opportunity folks and IVMF. I plan on devoting a majority of the rest of this week to the learning path so I have less on my plate on January 11th and can give MSSA my undivided attention.

I have also been messing around a bit with the Hack-The-Box site…It is quite interesting so far! I was a little surprised when right off the bat, it wanted me to “hack” the sign-up page in order to enter the site. This had me hooked and I try to put in a little time each night to sharpen my skills in cybersecurity. I have also been using the LinkedIn Learning app to listen to various CompTIA Sec+ classes (audio only) whenever I am in my truck driving.

I have a few other announcements I would like to include on this post. First, I was approached a few weeks ago by a person from Acronis SCSVets asking if I would be willing to speak with their cohort of veterans and military spouses about my transition experience from the Marines into the cybersecurity/IT world. I immediately agreed because my ultimate goal with this blog project is to help out as many veterans as I can in any way possible!

My second big announcement is that I had a meeting last week with Rod Lee and Jermaine Cohen from PRJKTVET. During the meeting, I volunteered to help them with their website and with any other tasks they needed assistance with in the organization. This is exciting for me because this will be my first experience outside of personal projects and tutorials to actually put some of my knowledge to use, and it will be yet another way to give some of my time back to the veteran community!

Well, that is all for now. If you guys have any suggestions for skillbridge programs you would like me to write about, topics on transition you would like information on, or have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me on here or LinkedIn! I will try to do another post between now and when I start up the MSSA program next week, but everything after that will be focused on my experiences in the skillbridge! I am excited to start writing from the perspective of a student rather than someone about to start…

Read more from Gunny Dave here!

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