The Lint Center’s John Thomas Wiseman interviews Gene Discipio.
John Thomas Wiseman: How would you define National Security and in what capacity have you been involved with United States National Security? How did you get involved?
Gene Discipio: National Security is the concept and the primary responsibility of the Federal Government to protect our physical state and people usually against foreign problems by whatever means possible, including military action, diplomacy and economic sanctions. I’ve been involved with National Security through my work as a Government employee in the Intelligence Community and now as a systems engineer with the MITRE Corporation working with various US Government agencies. I was hired by the CIA as an imagery analyst (now called a geospatial analyst). I held this position from November 1996 to January 2008. I’ve been at the MITRE Corporation since January 2008.
JTW: What is one of the more memorable or impactful experiences during your National Security Career?
GD: I authored several reports that were read by the Vice-President and Secretary of Defense.
JTW: Was there a particularly funny or comedic experience?
GD: There were no specific events that I would consider particularly funny, but I along with my co-workers, would always try to have fun at our jobs in the course of a normal workday.
JTW: What is one of the most valuable lessons you learned from your NS time?
GD: Be patient and verify everything. The answer to the problem you are working may take longer to find than you anticipated. Along with the quality assurance mechanisms that are in place, always coordinate your work with as many people as possible and solicit feedback.
JTW: What was one of the most difficult experiences you faced during your NS time?
GD: The only thing that I would say was difficult would be working nights, weekends and holidays at various times throughout my career.
JTW: What advice would you give new personnel thinking about starting a career in National Security?
GD: Research the agency that you would like to work for and study the area that they would be most interested in.