The Perfect Fit – Veterans Continuing the Mission
November 07, 2022
In her 16 and a half years at Sierra Nevada Corporation(SNC), Christine Morris’ love for the company has not diminished one bit. In fact, Christine told me, as long as employee camaraderie remains, she will always close her laptop with a smile at the end of the day. “You stay for the people,” said Christine.
Camaraderie is undoubtedly important for any employee, but for Christine it is everything and it is no surprise why:
“I felt that being enlisted first would make me a better leader in the future. Understanding what the enlisted soldiers go through.”
Christine is now SNC’s Senior Director of Security, but was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and after her five years of service she asked herself, “What can I do as a Korean linguist with a security clearance, experience running a Sensitive Compartment Information Facility (SCIF) and how can I continue to give back — to continue serving?” Then an opportunity in Sparks, Nevada lined up that allowed her to return to where she grew up and be close to her parents. She was hired by a defense contractor she thought she’d never heard of called SNC. However, that all changed as soon as she actually started work as the security manager of the Sparks office.
“When I got to Sparks, and as I got acclimated to the role, I realized that we made the Simple Key Loader — the SKL. Right before I got out of the military, I had just come back from the joint training center where a couple of the units had been given these new crypto units for filling the radios. I realized it was the SKL that SNC not only designed it but made it. And in the Army, we were all drooling over it.”
The SKL was something she saw firsthand as jaw-dropping “leap in technology” compared to old crypto. Christine called this her “aha moment” — where she was exposed to something in the field that was exciting, helped the warfighter and now she was a part of the team that made that impact. “It was my hook,” said Christine.
From February 2006 and on, the hook for Christine would be the camaraderie and SNC’s commitment to the warfighter — even after their service. Knowing that nearly 30% of SNC employees are veterans is an important statistic for Christine. A shared love, but also a shared first-hand understanding is what comes from prioritizing veteran new hires, said Christine.
“On the business development front, I think our veterans come in and can say, ‘Oh, SNC made this? But we could apply that to these specific gaps that I knew of when I was in military.’ Just understanding what those service members are facing when they face that risk and how our products could potentially be tweaked or designed proactively ahead of the customer asking for it. And we can pitch it to the customer. We think it would fill a gap you may not know you have, and that's the experience. It's from the field speaking right there.”
For Christine, filling those gaps, closing a project, and a milestone reached are nice, but it’s the positive interactions with like-minded individuals that makes her day. For eight hours, Monday through Friday, Christine said she is proud to be a veteran continuing her service with people continuing to change the future of our warfighters.
“That's why I'm here. That's why I love SNC because I get to work with great people, continue the mission, and it’s just the perfect fit.”
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.