#DutyToServe: Jay Yannuzzi
For those who have not had the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, it’s impossible to put into words the truly unique experience serving our country provides. Duty and service makes a person who they are and the bonds that are formed in the military can sometimes be stronger than family. At SDV Solutions, we understand the sacrifice that these men and women make because we’ve been there and we’ve made those sacrifices too. We know that there is no better pool of talent than the U.S. Military, an organization centered around learning and leadership. Over half of our team members are military veterans and we’re proud to tell their stories through our series we’re calling #DutyToServe.
Meet Jay Yannuzzi, VP Global Field Services Manager
Jay Yannuzzi is VP Global Field Services Manager at SDV Solutions. He runs anything that requires techs to be onsite anywhere in the world. Jay’s also the Facilities Securities Officer and does anything related to the technicians’ security clearances. Before he became an integral part of our team, Jay served in the Navy. His life experiences and the lessons he’s learned in the service have helped him succeed at SDV Solutions.
Big Dreams in a Small Town
Jay grew up in a quaint beach town called Mount Pleasant in South Carolina. His dad was a firefighter and his mom was a nurse. Both his parents and his grandparents were well-known in the community. Jay describes it as one of those small hometowns where everyone knows everybody. He also comes from a long line of service members.
Almost all the men on both sides of Jay’s family have served in some capacity, whether it was with the Navy, Air Force, or the Marines. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Jay decided to join the Navy when he was only 16 years old as part of a delayed entry program. But he didn’t just join because of his family’s military roots.
Jay had outgrown the small town and was seeking something greater, a fresh start. “I joined because I didn’t like school, I knew upon graduation that if I had the opportunity to go to college, I probably wasn’t going to go,” Jay said. “I had no real direction and to be honest… I was sick and tired of being in that small hometown and everybody knew me. I wanted to get away, like completely away, even from my family. Start over.”
Setting Sail to Japan
Jay wouldn’t leave home until a year later, after he graduated from high school. He’d landed a high score on the ASVAB and decided he wanted to pursue cryptology. Soon after basic training, Jay left for Japan, where he was stationed for over three years. His job entailed monitoring communications and listening for adversaries, all classified information.
When you’re on a ship, though, you have to wear more than one hat. Jay says, “The big thing is that everybody has to have more than just one job on the ship. You have to be a firefighter, do damage control, and all these other things.” Jay learned how to adapt and be flexible, qualities that he puts in practice daily at SDV Solutions.
While he was in Japan, he traveled to several other countries including South Korea, Australia, Guam, Saipan, Thailand, Singapore, Bahrain, the Persian Gulf, and the United Arab Emirates. From there, Jay had the opportunity to pick his duty station, so he left for Sigonella, Sicily, to do tactical intelligence. He did support missions for Bosnia and Kosovo for two years, where he also deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom, where he spent time in the Mediterranean Sea for nearly 45 days.
After his time spent abroad, Jay came to Norfolk, VA, where he was doing routine IT work. After eight years in the Navy, Jay’s time in the service came to an end.
Life Lessons He’s Brought with Him to SDV Solutions
Jay’s learned a lot from his life experiences and the time he spent in the military. The knowledge he’s gained along the way has contributed to his continued success at SDV Solutions.
“Kick Theirs and Cover Yours”
Before he graduated, his mom wrote him a letter that said: “Remember always to kick theirs and cover yours.” He’s always kept these words in the back of his mind, along with another lesson he learned from his dad.
Never Burn Bridges
Jay’s dad taught him that it should be who you are and what you are that defines everything, but sometimes it comes down to who you know that makes you advance further. So he makes sure to never burn bridges, no matter where he goes or what he does.
Understanding Circuit Flow
Jay also talks about how one of his first bosses in the service taught him how to understand circuit flow — how something comes in on one end, works its way through, and leaves the other end. That you had to understand all of that to do your job. As Global Field Services Manager, Jay’s responsible for seeing a lot of projects from start to finish.
When you’re in the military, you have to be flexible. Jay says that flexibility is a critical aspect of working with the federal government. They don’t stick to just eight hours a day. So while that may be ideal, working with federal clients requires being able to adapt and work longer hours or travel when needed.
Trust & Loyalty
In the Navy, Jay learned to trust the person next to him 100%, especially on the ship. He says they joke in the military that you become friends first, then family. But trust has been something he’s carried over to his position at SDV Solutions and puts in practice every day. Along with trust, Jay learned the value of loyalty while in the military. He talks about how trust and loyalty are important in his current role, and how he relies on his team for support, and they rely on each other.
Jay contributes much of his success to them, saying, “That’s the one thing I can say about every one of these guys is, you know, we’re a hundred percent remote when [it] comes to these guys, you know…. none of these guys are here locally with me and every one of them relies on the other one for something. And they’re always there for each other to support, you know, when we have issues come in, that maybe one person’s never worked before, they all jump in. So I can’t say thanks to my team enough, you know, without them, I would not be anywhere near as successful as I am now.”
At SDV Solutions, You Aren’t Just a Number
One of Jay’s favorite parts about working at SDV Solutions is the open and honest communication with leadership and other team members. Being able to voice his concerns and opinions facilitates an atmosphere of growth and one where employees feel both heard and valued. At SDV Solutions, you aren’t just a number.