Veterans at MITRE: Still ServingNovember 2021
Topics: Veterans Affairs, National Security, Cybersecurity, Homeland Security
“Every service member I know who’s come to the end of their military career still has fire in their belly to serve,” says Cozy Bailey.
“And while we're not being called to put our lives on the line, we still want to do something critically important. If that fire is still lit, MITRE’s a place to come to do that.”
Bailey, a retired Marine Corps officer, is one of the many U.S. veterans who continue to serve the public good through MITRE’s mission of solving problems for a safer world.
With the company a total of 12 years now, Bailey is a three-time Black Engineer of the Year Top-100 Engineer award winner. He currently manages intelligence programs within the National Security Engineering Center.
When considering options for his civilian career, he’d been drawn to our focus on mission—not profits.
“I believe I’m truly helping to solve some critical problems and continually bringing innovative ideas to find better ways to accomplish the mission,” Bailey says.
“I love being able to contribute at a variety of levels and feel like I'm really doing something good for the nation here.”
Diverse People Working Diverse Problems
Veterans like Bailey work across domains and disciplines at MITRE, from cyber to health to transportation. They serve a wide range of government agencies: the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security, among others.
In addition to supporting a broad set of sponsors, they’re a diverse group themselves. They come from all military branches, served as both officer and enlisted, and possess widely varying backgrounds.
Experts in their fields, they make up nearly 20 percent of our workforce. And they offer key skills to address some of our nation’s toughest challenges.
For example, Josie Long joined the company two years ago, bringing strong cyber knowledge from her time in the Coast Guard. Long, who’d worked alongside MITRE staff during her last military tour, was attracted by the work climate and the inclusive opportunities for advancement.
“I was so impressed by the strong collaboration and the sheer amount of brainpower here, particularly from many women I greatly admire,” Long says. “It motivates me to want to invest in my career and keep growing.”
“I always felt proud to serve my country,” she adds. “Working at MITRE allows me to continue feeling good about myself—that I'm still contributing to the betterment of our day-to-day lives.”
Beyond technical skills, other key assets veterans transfer to their civilian careers include strong leadership and management skills. And MITRE has no shortage of leadership opportunities.
For example, MITRE Vice President and Army veteran Beth Meinert oversees the Government Effectiveness and Modernization Center. The Center manages the federally funded R&D center that includes both Veterans Affairs and the Defense Health Agency.
She also serves as officer champion for MITRE’s Veteran’s Council. The council provides veterans with resources, outreach, and opportunities to connect with each other. This group also supports wider veteran communities, with efforts like sending care packages to deployed troops and assisting economically fragile veterans.
Commitment to and from veterans working across the company is reflected at the highest organizational levels. Our Board of Trustees, for instance, includes retired Navy Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, retired Air Force Colonel Paul Kaminski, and former Army officer and Congressman Mike Rogers.
Where Opportunity Meets Expertise: Driving Impact
Whether applying leadership at the executive level or pioneering innovation deep within our work programs, veterans at MITRE find abundant opportunities to leverage their experience to drive impact for the public good.
Army veteran Ellis Chang once led counter-terrorism operations in Iraq. A former Presidential Management Fellow, he now helps the government strategize ways to share cybersecurity information with both public- and private-sector partners.
“The memories of life in a Baghdad war zone really keep things in perspective for me,” Chang says. “My time in the service taught me how to take calculated risks, how to draw on people’s strengths, and how to deal with loss and adversity in a dynamically changing environment—all key to achieving my goals here.”
Chang’s experience exemplifies the mutually beneficial culture of veterans contributing to our mission, while enjoying the chance to continue serving their country.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor’s HIRE Vets Medallion Program has recognized MITRE for our accomplishments in recruiting, employing, and retaining veterans. When these highly skilled experts find the right opportunities to put their experience to good use, it’s a win-win all around.
“Veterans at MITRE bring mission focus, agility, and passion to a diverse problem set,” Meinert says. “And they continue to serve with distinction here, always striving for more impactful solutions to benefit the nation.”
—by Denise Schiavone
Are you a veteran or service member planning the transition to civilian life? We invite you to join our community of innovators, learners, knowledge-sharers, and risk takers. View our career opportunities for veterans.