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What We Do

Empower AI uses innovative technologies and their specialized platform to support federal missions and empower agency personnel to solve unique government challenges​.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Robert Shook - Army Counterintelligence and Technical Security Specialist

From Army counterintelligence to technical security specialist, Robert Shook has made service his...

Katrina Whitenack - Army Combat Medic and Medical Reviewer

After 5 years in the Army, Katrina Whitenack turned her experience as a Combat Medic into a succe...

Judith Buford - Naval Reservist and Medical Reviewer

Judith Buford uses her experience in organization and time management from her time as a Naval Re...

EXPLORE INSIGHTS

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CATAGORIES

Nursing & Healthcare

Celebrating Culture

Veterans

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Robert Shook - Army Counterintelligence and Technical Security Specialist

What inspired you to join the military?

I was raised in a patriotic family by God-fearing parents who encouraged us to live a life of service. Our family was large, and my father, a career firefighter, brought in enough money for our daily needs but not enough to put us through college. I worked full-time while attending college, and after five years of schooling with credits for three academic years, some Vietnam vets at my summer job convinced me to consider the military. The recruiters discussed options based on my testing, and in July of 1979, I joined the Army, attended basic in SC, and then went to the Intelligence School at Ft Huachuca, AZ.


What was your role during your time of service?

I was an Army Counterintelligence Special Agent my whole career (25 years) with specialized training in security technologies. CI Agents were trained and appointed to conduct CI investigations and operations supporting the Army, the DoD, and, in my case, NATO and other allies. The authority and jurisdiction for Army CI Special Agents includes investigating national security crimes using special investigative procedures, conducting counterintelligence operations, conducting both surveillance and counter-surveillance activities, and supporting counter-terrorism operations as authorized by Executive Order 12333 and applicable regulations.


What are some key achievements from your time in the service?

I was selected for and attended Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) training before my third year in the Army was finished, which set the path of my career. In 1995, I was assigned to the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) at Ft Belvoir. LIWA was a newly created unit with a mission to develop intelligence support to the emerging information warfare and cyber threats across the DoD; LIWA is now the 1st Information Operations Command (Land), with an ever-expanding cyber and information operations mission.


My next assignment sent me back to Belgium for my third tour supporting the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). In August 2001, I was deployed to Skopje, Macedonia, to conduct CI liaison with the Macedonian military and the UN mission in support of the reconstruction of Kosovo. While in Skopje, the 9/11 attacks occurred, and our liaison efforts produced valuable counter-terrorism support to the NATO forces and the US embassy. My final assignment was as the Army TSCM PM, providing oversight and managerial support to all Army TSCM assets worldwide.


Why is it important that we celebrate Veterans Day as a nation?

In the US, Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor the service and sacrifices veterans have made throughout history to protect the United States, particularly in times of war. To quote President Ronald Reagan (1983), “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”


How do you recognize Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month?

My wife, also a veteran, and I will often meet with friends from our many assignments to share time and comradery with them. This year, however, we are focused on my wife’s family, who have served in an active duty position or as a federal employee in the DoD.


What is your role at Empower AI?

Our team supports the US Capitol Police Special Security Bureau. Specifically, I am on the team providing technical security, technical countermeasures, and counterintelligence expertise to the mission of the USCP.


How do you use the skills you learned in the military today?

The foundation of all my security, technologies, and investigations expertise is based on my Army career.

Carrie Graubics - Medical Reviewer

In honor of International Cultural Diversity Day, Medical Reviewer Carrie Graubics shares some of the traditions from her Native American culture.


What is the history of your culture?

We have been here since before the arrival of the first colonists in the 1600s. My family derives from 5 Virginia tribes: Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, and Rappahannock.


What traditions are important in your culture?

Keeping traditions is a personal choice and there are various levels of tradition keeping among individuals. It is important to most adults to provide exposure to traditional ways to their children.


How do you think your culture has influenced your personal values and beliefs?

Family and cultural community is extremely important to me and is a major factor within most indigenous communities.


What’s the one thing you would like for people to know about your culture?

Each Native American tribe is unique and though they may share some cultural similarities, there are unique threads within the overall fabric of the various tribal communities. Some of the differences can be categorized by geographical location, such as East Coast tribes vs. West Coast tribes, plains area tribes vs. woodland tribes, etc. For example, music, dance styles, art, and regalia (traditional apparel).


What advice would you give someone who wants to learn more about your culture?

The most impactful way of experiencing the Native American culture would be to attend local cultural events that are open to the public. It’s the most impactful way to experience the music, dancing, art, energy of the people, etc.


Are there festivals in your area that celebrate your culture? If so, when, and where do they take place? What foods are popular in your culture?

Most tribes host an annual festival, or Powwow, that is open to the public. These events are typically held on the tribal grounds of each hosting tribe, which are typically in rural areas. Frybread is a popular cultural food and is usually found at all of these events; however, it is a food that is more prominent among western tribes.

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