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 a new series we’re calling #DutyToServe.
Meet Marvin Robb, Information Assurance Manager
There was never any doubt in Marvin Robb’s mind that military life was his calling. Robb, SDV’s Information Assurance Manager, joined the National Guard at 17, after his parents agreed to sign for him. The Rosemont, Minnesota native explained how his uncles were an influence on him to join the military.
“My uncles were all in the military around the Korea and Vietnam eras. My dad’s oldest brother was big into the National Guard and he talked to me and that is when I decided to get into the Guard.” After spending six years in the Guard, Robb traded in his National Guard green for Air Force blue. At that moment, he knew he would retire from the Air Force.
“Because I was in the Guard before I joined the Air Force, I knew this (a career in the military) is what I wanted to do. I was going to retire from this, “ remarked Robb. “I went into the Retention Officer and she said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I said, ‘I want to retire from the Air Force’ and she said, ‘You just made my day!’.”
The Call to Serve
Robb started his Air Force career working as an Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic. “When you are at the airport and see equipment on the ground that is attached to airplanes, that is what I worked on. I was a jack of all trades, master of none. I worked on air conditioning, heating, electricity, electrical generation.
When Robb worked at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, he was assigned to the generator crew and began learning about electronics while working with B-1 Bombers.
“I had a supervisor who was going to school to be an electrical engineer and he kind of took me under his wing, “ said Robb. “He taught me all the inside and outs of electronics and that really stuck with me. That is how I ended up getting involved in electronics engineering.”
Joining the SDV Solutions Team
After 25 years in the Air Force, Robb retired in June 2011. He worked for a short time with a highway and general contracting company before deciding to pursue his Electronics Engineering degree. After two years as a full-time student at ECPI University, he graduated. He immediately was hired after being placed as an intern at SDV Solutions.
As the Information Assurance Manager, Robb is responsible for identifying computer vulnerabilities in all the systems SDV Solutions supports. In order to stay current, Robb spends a lot of his time reading special publications and papers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“I use it everyday and check for vulnerabilities for all the systems we cover. For me, the NIST is like my home,” said Robb. “My job here at SDV is to make sure all of our information is secure. All the standards we are going to have to meet are in the new special publication, SP 800 171 which is what they are writing the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) off of. “
The Department of Defense is implementing the CMMC to standardize cybersecurity preparedness across the federal government’s defense industrial base. This program is being put in place to set guidelines for defense contractor’s capabilities and readiness in the area of cybersecurity.
“Let’s get this done.”
Robb again is leaning on his experiences in the military for his mission. “My job is totally different than what I did in the military, “ said Robb. “But Mike believed I could do this and said ‘Go for it!’ Anyone who has been in the military has that mentality of ‘Ok, no one else here can do it, let’s get this done.’”
Like for other veterans on our team, working at SDV Solutions isn’t dissimilar from working in the military. Ultimately the work is with the same people and demands the same level of flexibility, breadth of experience, and depth of expertise to be successful. Those same requirements offer some insight into what the work is like: it’s rewarding because no two days are the same.