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The Patriot Award: Optiv’s Andy Maidment Makes a Special Tribute to his Supervisor, Andrew Coons

July 05, 2017

When Andy Maidment found out about the Patriot Award during his annual civilian employment review, he immediately knew he wanted to nominate his supervisor, Andrew Coons, for this important acknowledgement. About to be deployed for a third tour of duty in the Middle East, Andy realized how critical it was to have his supervisor’s flexibility and support in shipping out quickly and seamlessly. Having worked for Optiv for two years, he thought it was great timing to point out his gratitude to both Andrew and Optiv for easing the transition to military life and back again. The Department of Defense Patriot Award, which recognizes employers who support military personnel, was the perfect way to do it.

Be Proud of Your Contribution

As one of Optiv’s cyber security superheroes, Andy is achieving great things on the military front and in his corporate life. With 13 years in the Army National Guard and four years of active duty under his belt, Andy has held positions from tank commander and aviation operations specialist, to signal officer and acting company commander. It was as a signal officer that Andy became interested in IT. As a 25A, he was assigned to the signal corps where he worked with radios, computers and all aspects of communications. About this time, his battalion commander at the signal school said, “Get geeky,” and that’s exactly what Andy did. He enjoyed his network classes (when not many of his comrades did) and quickly dove into that area of IT.  

Be Proud of Your Growth

After a deployment as acting company commander for a signal support company, Andy transitioned back to civilian life into the role of network technician for a Kansas City school. He worked on switch and router configuration, and VoIP for two and half years, before making the leap over to Optiv. According to Andy, “The people at Optiv are really willing to help you out, especially when you’re new and transitioning.” Today, as a support representative in Optiv’s security operations center (SOC), he fields calls and questions when clients have issues with their firewalls and network security.  The nature of the environment is “break/fix” to help the client resolve their issues quickly.

Be Proud of Our Team

Enter Andrew Coons, Optiv’s SOC engineering manager and Andy’s supervisor. The teammates immediately bonded when they began working together in the managed services center two years ago. Andrew attributes Andy’s reliability and steadfastness to the military, saying, “The military drives that into you.” Andrew was pleasantly surprised and honored to be presented with the Patriot Award. He believes in Andy’s values and work ethic and wanted to reciprocate by being fair and flexible with him. He states, “Optiv helps give military personnel a home to come back to. If you think about examples, where people go into the military, and they come out, and employers don’t want to work with them on their arrangements, or they don’t want to give them a chance, it kind of leaves them high and dry. So, it’s a huge win for these guys.”

Be Proud of Our Impact

The Patriot Award is a testament to Optiv’s support of people in the armed forces and desire to hire, train and help transition them from military life to civilization life—and back. With 10 percent of its work force currently comprised of actively-serving members or veterans, Optiv hopes to grow these numbers even larger. Veena Bricker, Optiv’s chief human resources officer adds, “We appreciate our military personnel and veterans at Optiv and value their mission-style approach to work, their teamwork and ability to collaborate to achieve a common goal.” Andy has experienced Optiv’s appreciation first hand. Upon receiving his orders for his current deployment, “Operation Inherent Resolve,” he tells us, the reaction he received was, “No problem, we understand, we’ll make it work. Just do your thing and get back to us as soon as you can!” We appreciate what Andy is doing at Optiv and for our country. 

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