James Park, IT Specialist and U.S. Army National Guard Executive Officer

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James Park
“Fortunately, I have great employers who understand my military obligations…”
Hometown:

Honolulu, Hawai‛i

Department:

Technology & Distance Programs

Degree:

BA in Economics - UH Mānoa

What is your current position in the COE?
I am an IT Specialist, but I was an operations coordinator in the college’s Technology & Distance Programs for three and a half years before this position.

What is your role in the U.S. Army National Guard?
I am an Executive Officer in the 230th Vertical Engineer Company. My main role is primarily unit maintenance – equipment, supplies, and materials are all accounted for during missions and drills. I also assist the commander and staff with training plans and future Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) missions, like in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Why did you decide to join?
I accepted a four-year ROTC scholarship for college, which put me on the path to the becoming an officer (commissioned route).

How has this impacted your education and career goals?
Because of ROTC, I was able to attend Seattle University at minimal cost. Through the program, I developed leadership and problem-solving abilities. It taught me to work under pressure, which led me to pursue a career in Information Technology and slowly toward management.

Who have been your greatest supporters or influences along the way?
Definitely my friends and family who stood by my side when things got rough, but especially Malia Malchock who gave me my first opportunity to work in a technical field. She has inspired me to become a great leader who is both dedicated and passionate about my job and fellow coworkers. I'm extremely grateful to her, and there was no doubt in my mind when the opportunity presented itself to nominate her for an employer’s award on behalf of the U.S. Army.

How do you manage your time between a full-time job and the National Guard?
I normally attend a weekend every month, but there are other monthly briefings, pre-training requirements, etc. Every year, we also have a two-week training. Fortunately, I have great employers who understand my military obligations, and I work it out with them to make sure that plans are made in advance to mitigate possible issues as much as possible.

What are your future plans?
Continue working at the COE! I am considering a master’s program in business or education, and I will continue to pursue my interests in creating virtual reality applications.