Jeff initially applied to join the RAAF and during the final stages of the recruitment process a Petty Officer Cook asked Jeff “Do you want to have 3 warm meals a day, a warm bed and see most of the world?”. This convinced Jeff quickly that the Navy was his gravy!
In May 2008, Jeff enlisted into the Royal Australian Navy as an Electronics Technician. After completing initial training at HMAS Cerberus, Jeff was posted to HMAS Parramatta, to assist in maintenance, in preparation for operational deployment. Following this Jeff also saw a posting to HMAS Cerberus to complete the rebuild of West Head Gunnery Range and furthermore deployed on a range of tasks such as Cyclone Yasi Assist and Border Protection initiatives.
During this time, Jeff developed a strong interest in Cyber Security and got the opportunity to work in Canberra doing specialised system administration for Defence. Unfortunately, Jeff was then diagnosed with reoccurring acute pancreatitis, which ultimately led to being medically discharged.
Due to medical reasons including mental health concerns, Jeff was medically discharged in August 2018. Facing the fear of transitioning, Soldier On provided some training opportunities that made Jeff not only good at what he does but stand out in the professional world.
Whilst going through the medical discharge process, Jeff was diagnosed with mental health issues on top of pancreatitis. This was when Jeff started to realise that he really needed to get himself prepared for transition. It was during this stage that Jeff first got in touch with Soldier On.
Following discharge, Jeff was lucky to have an in-demand skill set which resulted in an easier transition. This skillset was thanks to the programs offered by Soldier On. Jeff always makes himself available to help anyone who wants help transitioning, and the first thing he advises is to practice self-management.
Since discharging from Defence, Jeff has gained a successful career in the cybersecurity industry. This has not been from luck, it has been from training, networking, building a support network and doing! Currently, Jeff is working with a platinum pledge partner doing ICT security assessments. Jeff’s message to the veteran community is to believe in yourself and only take the opinion of those who empower you.
Soldier On’s goals and values align with Jeff’s views for the future for veterans and their families. As an Ambassador, Jeff wants to make sure Soldier On stay busy! I want to make the team at Soldier On busy. Jeff will continue to advocate and mentor whoever it may be to get world-class industry training.
Whilst his focus will be on the training and education of veterans and their families, Jeff continues to provide support to the organisation, in all our streams of service.