#DutyToServe: Tommy Smith
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 Tommy Smith, Training Manager
Technology is evolving and changing everyday. To stay current, you need a training program and a manager willing to put time and effort into keeping up with the latest and greatest advancements and technologies. SDV Solutions Training Manager, Tommy Smith also happens to be willing to put his time and effort into SDV’s greatest assets, their technicians.
“Somebody gave me a chance. Somebody didn’t give up on me,” Tommy said. “My job is to get the technicians trained and certified. I need to make sure they are honing their skills to do their jobs in the most effective way possible.”
Tommy spends his off hours working in the community as an assistant pastor with his church. He works with kids and talks to them about what is going on in their world. “We know our younger generation needs direction, and to be able to work with these kids, talk to them and see what’s on their mind and be part of their development. That is what I love to do.”
The Call to Serve
As a Miami, Florida, native, Tommy grew up craving travel and music. “My passion was music. I had a scholarship to Florida A&M. I got bored at home and I had always wanted to travel. So, a co-worker of mine talked to me about the Navy. I did some research and then went and joined.”
Tommy took to the seas as a Radioman, which in turn the Navy transitioned into Information Systems Technicians. For the next 21 years, Tommy traveled the world and achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Along the way, there was career success, but also life lessons that can’t be taught anywhere else.
“I was stationed at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq when an RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) landed inside next to the Exchange where there was a large group of people. There were four or five people who didn’t make it. Two of them were about to go home,” he said. “It really gave me a different perspective about things. I realized how serious life is and it taught me to enjoy every moment that God gives you. I am glad I had that experience. Would I want it again? Absolutely not, but it gave me a different perspective and a different appreciation for freedom.”
Trust. Accountability. Reliability.
After transitioning to the civilian sector, Tommy realized three attributes that help him succeed and that he expects from his co-workers: accountability, trust and reliability.
“You want people to trust you to do your job,” he said. “You want them to trust you to be there for them. We have to learn trust and accountability, and I have some great co-workers. They are like brothers to me. We trust each other. It is good to know that if I get stuck on something I can go to one of them for help.”
At SDV Solutions, trust is a core tenet of our guiding principles. As an IT hardware support provider for Federal Agencies, our work demands that we demonstrate our deployed personnel are trustworthy through their clearance status. As a subcontractor to large systems integrators on prime government contracts, our success hinges on trust built in our partnerships too. Learn more about why trust is mission critical for our team.