"The real strength of this organization is the diversity of our workforce...bringing together people from different backgrounds, different job experiences, different education, different language capabilities, and different cultures...for fresh ideas, fresh perspectives, and new solution sets."
Former Director Mark Clookie
Justin, Computer Scientist
I joined NCIS as a Computer Scientist in 2010 after hearing about the opportunities at the agency during a recruiting session at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), where I was enrolled as a graduate student. My current supervisor came to AFIT and briefed us on what it was like to work in the Cyber Department at NCIS. I was able to sit down with him one-on-one to talk about the job and see if it would be a good fit. While at AFIT, I was part of the Cybercorp program, a National Science Foundation fellowship designed to foster cyber expertise within the US government and I graduated from AFIT with a Master’s degree in cyber operations.
My official title is Computer Scientist, but that means different things day-to-day. One of the aspects I enjoy about this job is that I get to support a wide variety of missions. Some days, that means finding and testing the latest digital forensics tools to provide to the field; on others, it might mean interpreting some data, writing some code, or providing cyber training in support of an investigation or operation.
A career at NCIS is good for someone who wants variety because it’s a small agency and everyone has to wear multiple hats.
In addition to supporting a wide variety of missions, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to travel and work firsthand with the field agents we support. I’ve also gotten the opportunity on a number of occasions to receive advanced training to enhance my own skills, then turn around and apply that knowledge to solving a real-world problem.
I think the most rewarding part of my job is to be able to provide a capability or personal support to someone in the field working a case or operation, and then have that person tell me how that support made a difference for them.