Q: What is your role at JS Solutions (JSS), and what does a typical day look like for you?
A: At JS Solutions, I am a Product Integrator working with the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team (FVL CFT) and the Combat Aviation Brigade Architecture Integration Lab (CAB AIL). My role is unique because it’s never really been done before. I’m the initial person to come in and figure out what this position looks like on both the FVL CFT side and the CAB AIL side. I serve as a liaison between the two sides. Within the CAB AIL, I am integrating new technologies and then relaying the relevant information to FVL CFT, so both parties are aware of how products performed when tested in the lab environment and how they could potentially be used on aviation platforms.
Q: Where did you work prior to joining JSS? What relevant experience do you bring to your current role?
A: JSS is actually my first civilian job. I served 23 years as an active-duty Army soldier, serving with the 160th Special Operations Aviation regiment for the majority of my service. I retired as a First Sergeant from my last post at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. My background is entirely in Army aviation, specifically as an avionics and aircraft electrician. Because of my Army leadership background, I also bring people and project management skills to the JSS team. I know how to motivate people and keep them engaged to get things done in an efficient manner.
Q: What aspect of your job do you consider yourself an expert in?
A: Where I see my experience and expertise come into play the most is when a customer has a good product, but they have never utilized it on a military aircraft. I provide feedback that guides them on how it can be utilized to its fullest potential, and how it can be integrated and implemented. Sometimes that includes having to tell companies that their product cannot be utilized the way they want to. When integrating a new product, there are things that need to be considered, and people might not think of them simply because they don’t know to think about them. My experience helps me think in a different way, so I am able to point those things out to the customer.
I can see where an issue could occur and provide a solution before the customer even realizes it. My experience gives me a different viewpoint that works in favor of our customers. I’ve been in several briefs where they talk about a system component and inevitably there’s always a question-and-answer discussion where specific competent questions come up that haven’t been thought about before. Sometimes the product designers see the product from a high level, where I view it as someone replacing the component in the field. A product might brief well, but when it’s in the field it must be able to perform, and being able to use a different viewpoint lets the products produced do both.
Q: Why do you think companies should work with JSS, and how does JSS bring value to its customers?
A: We’re a small company that cares about our customers. We’ve ultimately discovered ways to solve our customers’ difficult problems. Sometimes they don’t even know they have a problem, so we help them see the problem and find a way to close the gap. We each bring different experiences and think outside of the box which makes us a strong team. The different backgrounds enable us to provide the best solutions for our customers.
Q: What makes JSS different from other companies you’ve worked for?
A: Coming straight out of the military, I don’t have a lot of other companies to compare JSS to; however, I have several friends that transitioned out of the Army around the same time I did, and they haven’t had the same experience I have had. It makes me grateful to have landed a position with a small company that has a specific vision and a plan for what they want to do.
There was a little bit of risk involved when I chose to work with a newer, small company instead of a larger, long-standing organization. JSS is such a strong team and any concern around that fell away quickly. Jason works alongside us and really cares for each team member. Because we’re small, we’re kind of an extended family, and that’s comforting on its own. I know that I can pick up the phone and call any of my teammates, even Jason, and they will help me with whatever I need, whether it’s personal or company-related. That confirms I’m on a great team.