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"I enjoy what I do and the life it has provided for me and my family."
Technical Sergeant | Air Force
After a successful enlistment in aircraft maintenance, Kyle was informed about the Air Force’s ongoing effort to recruit more cyber personnel. He applied to a program that gives Airmen the opportunity to laterally move from their current career field to a new one. After a retraining period, he successfully made the switch from being in aircraft maintenance to cyberwarfare.
He now holds the title of cyberwarfare operator and describes it as being a “[proverbial] guardian of the network.”
“A defensive cyber operator protects [the Air Force’s] data and net-centric capabilities. We make sure that they [Airmen operating around the world] have the information and data they need to fight and accomplish the mission. It’s mission assurance that the network is secured, that nothing can touch it and that nothing can get altered in the transit of data,” he says.
In the Air Force’s computer science field, it takes a great deal of studying, training and patience for an Airman to become a proficient cyberwarrior. However, these young Airmen have a great teacher on whom they can rely. In Kyle’s current role as an instructor, he’s directly responsible for shaping and preparing the next generation of Air Force cyber warriors and passing on his love for computer science. His favorite aspect of the job is when his students begin to understand technologically intricate concepts. “It’s awesome to see the lightbulb go on,” he says.
Through Thick and Thin
Although Kyle is at the forefront of an ever-evolving battlespace, his schedule gives him plenty of free time. No matter what the workday holds, his evenings are filled with family time.
In fact, military bases are far from how they’re portrayed on TV or in movies — they are actually a lot like small towns or college campuses. They have their own libraries, recreation centers and even movie theaters. This gives service members and their families a great sense of community within their duty stations and plenty of opportunities to socialize and build tighter bonds. “You break bread together, you share drinks together and you make sure that your people are taken care of through thick and thin,” Kyle says.
Kyle and his family also enjoy taking advantage of the year-round youth sports programs offered at his duty station. Kyle grew up playing America’s favorite pastime — baseball — and now he coaches his son’s team. “It’s so much fun, and seeing the kids develop is great,” he says