Joining the military is a big decision and commitment. Some people know they are serving, no questions asked. But not everyone knows that they want to be in the military right off the bat.

From patriotism to self-improvement, the motivations for enlisting vary as much as the career opportunities the military provides.

As Military Appreciation Month comes to a close, we asked some of our colleagues to reflect on their military experience and how it influenced them personally and professionally. At ASRC Federal, about 20 percent of employees are active or have served in the military.

Click to watch a video that honors our employees who submitted photos that highlight their service to our Nation.

For Angelo Aldeguer joining the U.S. Navy was a family tradition. His mother and two of his siblings served in the Navy.

“I wanted to follow in my family’s footsteps,” says Angelo, who joined ASRC Federal in April and is a logistics coordinator working at the Fleet Readiness Center in Oahu, Hawaii. He was a Petty Officer 2nd Class and served for eight years.

Daphne Caprio, a principal configuration management analyst for ASRC Federal System Solutions, joined the U.S. Army to improve herself.

“I wasn’t going to be able to go to college by staying at home nor did I want a job at the mall,” she recalls. “I had been working as a nurse’s aide and I knew that wasn’t for me.”

A passion for airplanes and some convincing from her best friend led Tracey Ford to a career in the Navy.

“My best friend Laura decided to go into the Navy because her brother was in it, and she wanted me to go in with her on the ‘buddy system’,” recalls Tracey, a technical specialist task lead working on the FAA program. “I had said no and then she convinced me and the recruiter told us both that we would be together in boot camp.”

However, that never happened. The pair never had the opportunity to be stationed together, but this did not deter Tracey, as she spent 21 years in the Navy retiring in 2010 as a chief petty officer. “I also loved airplanes. I loved every minute working on the P-3 Orion Aircraft,” she said.

Military Life & Career

Judy Kelley, program manager for National Security Space, shared the biggest lesson she learned from her military career in the U.S. Air Force was that her actions had repercussions.

“What I do matters,” she recalls. “The military is notorious for giving younger people big responsibilities. I learned pretty quickly as a second lieutenant that if I slack in my job, it could have serious repercussions.”

Judy, who was a major when she retired, served six years active duty and five years as an active reservist, adds she had to adjust to military life and overcome a few preconceptions she also had before joining.

“I came from a totally non-military family, so there was a lot of adjustment. But the Air Force really takes care of their own, so at each duty station I had a sponsor that really helped with housing, getting around, and learning the job and the area,” she says. “I also thought there would be a lot more marching, physical training and people who care how my socks were folded in the drawer. Turns out it was a lot more fun than that.”

Judy credits her military experience for preparing her for the role of program manager at the Navy’s Blossom Point Tracking Facility in Adelphi, Md. The site is used to provide simultaneous tracking and data acquisition, health and status monitoring, and command and control for Naval Research Labratory and Navy satellites.

“My military background has been very helpful because there’s almost a direct transition from my time doing satellite command and control for the Air Force to what we do at Blossom Point,” she adds.

Making the Transition from Military Life

Daniel Liggins, senior director for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) programs, credits his military experience to helping him secure a role with ASRC Federal after retiring from the U.S. Air Force after 26 years of service.

I was attracted to ASRC Federal because the company’s culture and values closely align with the Air Force core values,” Daniel says.

Before transitioning out of the military, he recommends people research their options and think through what they want to do before transitioning to civilian life.

“Take advantage of the many resources available to you before and after you leave the military, such as the Transition Assistance Program and SkillBridge, if you have the opportunity,” he says. “Remember that you have developed invaluable skills while serving in the military that are highly coveted in the civilian world, including leadership and a strong work ethic.”

Angelo transitioned from the military to civilian life in December 2023 and agrees developing a transition plan is critical.

“It’s important that you educate yourself about all the benefits and services you’re entitled to before you leave the military,” he says. “It’s also a good idea to look for a job while you’re still active duty and have money saved for an emergency fund once you do leave. This will help you prepare for the unknown.”

We appreciate all of our military colleagues and remember all the military personnel we have lost this Memorial Day.