"Most days, work doesn't feel like work."
While the nature of cyber operations is complicated, Steve can boil it down. "I hunt for people who wish to do harm to the United States on the Internet," he explains. "I'm part of the team that goes in and tries to find them and stop them."
To be successful — and because his unit is relatively new and growing fast — Steve helps build the unit from the inside.
He creates systems and tactics while also conducting operations, literally using his own brainpower to solve problems. "If you want to be on the forefront of building something, you have to try something new," he says. "We say, 'If you're not doing something for the first time, why are you doing it?'"
In the cyber operations arena, the Military is at the forefront. And Steve sees a big difference between what he's doing and what's going on in Silicon Valley. "Industry is doing cool stuff to further industry, investors, profits and money," he says. "We do cool stuff and it is to protect people, for national defense. That's pure. That's what makes us unique."
Steve's interests aren't all that different when he takes off his uniform. "One of the best things about working in the cyber branch is that my work so closely mirrors my love of technology, innovation and engineering. Most days, work doesn't feel like work," Steve says. In his downtime, he likes to host hackathons in his apartment and create things with a 3D printer.
"The biggest benefit of the Military? The satisfaction. The feeling of empowerment. Being able to decide what I think is right and then just go do it," Steve says. "I wouldn't feel as fulfilled anywhere else. I couldn't have as much of an impact anywhere else."