Veteran Spotlight: Meet Peter W., ITCO Analyst
January 25, 2022
Peter W. is an International Trade Compliance (ITC) Analyst and says although he didn't know it while in the Marines, ITC was critical to his survival while overseas. Today at SNC, he is able to use his skillset to prevent our high-tech capabilities from falling into the hands of people who want to hurt the United States. Read on, to learn more about his role and why he was drawn to work at SNC.
Please tell us what you did in the military.
I enlisted into the Marine Corps when I was seventeen (I tried to join when I was sixteen but obviously couldn’t) and served 4.5 years as an Infantry Assaultman with 3rd Battalion 1st Marines. Infantry Assaultmen are the company-level asset responsible for employing anti-tank rockets and conducting obstacle reduction (bunkers, walls, doors, locks, wire, etc.) through explosive and mechanical means. Between 2010 and 2014, the enemy was not exactly utilizing heavy armor or equipment so we primarily learned and conducted additional infantry roles (i.e. machine gunners, riflemen, etc.). During my time in the Marines, I served on two deployments: one to the Middle East as part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard the USS Pearl Harbor and one to Japan and SE Asia as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP).
What brought you to SNC?
As a self-proclaimed space nerd, the eye-catcher for me was certainly the Dream Chaser and SNC’s work with space products! Beyond that, it was the people. Throughout my interview process I was astonished by how engaged, upbeat, and relatable every person was. I had other offers but chose SNC because I wanted to work with, and alongside, people I enjoyed being around. Additionally, after finishing graduate school I wanted to find an organization that I could begin my career at and have ample opportunities to learn and grow with. SNC was the perfect match for that! The (relatively) small size of SNC would allow me to expand and apply my knowledge of international trade while offering professional and development opportunities potentially not available at larger, more segmented, firms.
What is your job at SNC and why do you find it meaningful?
I’m an analyst with SNC’s International Trade Compliance Office and work specifically within our Compliance and Training Function (C&T). Within C&T we are responsible for the book-ends of compliance. We work to educate broader SNC on international trade compliance topics as well as conduct compliance investigations for any potential or confirmed violations of export controls.
As a former infantryman I find trade compliance incredibly meaningful! I didn’t realize it until I started my role with SNC, but ensuring high-tech capabilities, hardware, and information do not fall into the hands of nefarious actors who want to use it against US forces was vital to our survival, downrange. During my time in the Marines, US forces had absolute control of the battlefield and a considerable superiority over our enemies. Trade controls ensure the US maintains that advantage even as the world, and warfighting, evolves.
Why do you think it’s important to serve our country?
Serving our country gives you a first-hand experience of numerous, and often completely different, ways of life and cultures. Prior to joining the Marines, I had never left rural MN and these new experiences were jarring but they were also eye-opening and produced a profound sense of appreciation for the country we live in and the freedoms we are afforded. As an all-volunteer force, our culture, values, and way-of-life are contingent upon men and women of this country sacrificing their lives, families, and personal ambitions to defend us against any threat or enemy – serving, in any manner, helps uphold the ideals we cherish as Americans.
What does it mean to you that 30% of SNC employees are veterans?
It’s one of my favorite things about working here! Transitioning into organizations that are not familiar with the veteran “style” or experience can be challenging. Being a part of an organization where at least 30% of employees have that “style” or experience helps build camaraderie and always makes for some good storytelling.
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.