Empower AI’s Michael Quevedo is a protector. It is in his blood. “Two of my uncles served in the Army when I was younger- they kind of fell in the same career path,” he said. “One was a medic, one was infantry. After seeing the military life for them, I kind of fell into that same realm. The military was appealing to me, we have a military family.”
Quevedo served in the Army as a Staff Sergeant and Military Police Officer, following his family’s path. He draws on these skills in his current role as a Facility Security and Insider Threat Officer at Empower AI. “[I] ensure that we are not being attacked from within. It is very similar to what I was doing at the Pentagon, for my previous job, as a Security Analyst supporting cyber defense,” said Quevedo.
Quevedo believes it is an honor to celebrate Veterans Day and Military Families Appreciation Month. “I think it is very important to celebrate military families, and to honor the service from the members and their families,” he said. “It is a great sacrifice on the members and the family who has to support the service member. The challenges are great, being away from their families, and it brings large challenges to family dynamics. Mental welfare is one of the great challenges.”
For Quevedo, it’s important that non-service members realize how far-reaching the impact of sacrifice can be, especially when it comes to milestones often taken for granted. “It is a tremendous sacrifice, to be away for a large portion of the year, away from your family. It is very important to recognize that one of the hardships that come from missing time with family is missing birthdays and significant events” Quevedo explained.
As he reflected on his military family members, Quevedo radiated a great deal of pride: “I believe that Veterans Day shines a light on the service of service members across all branches. Our military service members are providing protection for the country, and there are many ways to do that. You can serve in combat, and you can perform administrative duties. Any way that we can recognize [these forms of] service is important, and Veterans Day is an important way to do that.”
When asked about his proudest moment of service so far, he did not hesitate to describe his graduation from U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy, at Fort Jackson, N.C.
“I had the pleasure of attending the Drill Sergeant Academy, which affords me the opportunity to achieve the lifelong dream,” he said. “My uncle served in the military, and he wore the Drill Sergeant hat, we associate that with someone who is extremely disciplined, and I wanted to emulate that. I was blessed, and able to serve as a Drill Sergeant and train the next generations of America’s sons and daughters in arms”
He fondly remembered his fellow service members and thinks about them often: “I believe that many members of the service understand selfless service. Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population currently serves, and they have put the needs of the country above their own, they understand that serving allows the idea of something bigger and important than yourself. Many people who serve understand the idea of being a leader, among your peers, and the community, and they learn to challenge themselves to be the best. I want to be the best, work in tandem with my peers, accomplish any mission; those are the things I bring to Empower AI.”