Staff Sgt. Hector Marrero credits the training and education he’s received as an information technology specialist in the Army Reserve with helping him land a job in the civilian sector as an IT analyst.
Marrero used the Post-9/11 GI Bill and tuition assistance to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and then he earned the A+, Security+ and Strata certifications in accordance with DoD’s Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program.
The A+ certification shows that he has the skills needed to install, maintain, customize, and operate personal computers, while the Security+ certification means that he’s well versed at the principles of network security and risk management. The Strata certification means that he’s proficient at IT terms, equipment, and functions.
Marrero said, he started getting calls from potential employers within a week after he posted his credentials to a social networking site designed specifically for the business community.
“The job pretty much found me,” said Marrero, who in his currently capacity as an Army Guard and Reserve Soldier maintains all of the 80th Training Command’s computer equipment at The Army School System Training Center, Grand Prairie, Texas.
With little assistance, Marrero converted two empty rooms into classrooms at the training center, by connecting approximately 42 computers to the server. “His biggest challenge was the amount of wire he had to run,” said Christian W. Erb, the TTC Grand Prairie, interim team chief. “He did about 80 percent of the work by himself, making sure the computers were up and running with no issues and all the necessary updates. It took him several weeks.”
In his new role as an IT analyst Marrero will be responsible for supervising approximately 10 subordinates, and for maintaining computers and other IT equipment at five locations. He’ll also be required to make recommendations regarding new equipment, and for new building designs.
During a visit to the TASS Center at Grand Prairie, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Darlington, the 80th TC senior noncommissioned officer, said it’s fantastic that Marrero was able to take full advantage of opportunities the Army has given him.
“He is a fine example of how to convert the training and educational experiences into full-time civilian employment,” Darlington said.
—Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Eugene is with the 80th Training Command