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NEWS | Feb. 18, 2022

Following a Dream: TyJuan Smith

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Washington D.C., the nation’s capital. It’s full of history, monuments and for many, it’s simply where they work. Some of the most pivotal moments in the history of the United States have taken place there. Why would anyone give up that opportunity to then work at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD)?

“No traffic,” said TyJuan Smith, the recently-promoted information system security officer (ISSO) for the Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department at NSWCDD. “Outside of that, I definitely love the opportunity and room for growth here at Dahlgren. I have excelled here in ways that I could not have excelled in any other place.”

Smith knows a thing or two about D.C. traffic. Starting in 2013, he started working with the Army Operation Center at the Pentagon, traveling from his home in Waldorf, Md., each day. Since arriving at NSWCDD in 2019 to assist the Naval Systems Engineering Resource Center (NSERC) in building up their Linux infrastructure, Smith has quickly grown in his new role and attributes that growth to what makes Dahlgren special.

“The family atmosphere and the mentorship that’s here is always trying to push you to being a better person and help you pursue the next step in your career,” Smith said. “’I think you’re a good fit for this role.’ ‘I believe in you.’ ‘I think you should do this.’ That’s what I get here. That’s good mentorship here at Dahlgren, and I really appreciate that.”

His supervisors in both his current and previous roles put Smith in position to succeed, and he has shined. Smith has been an acting branch head, and used that opportunity to showcase his skills in the information technology career field; a field that he’s loved since he was a little kid.

“I had a computer and it broke, and my parents didn’t know how to fix it,” Smith said. “I just started tinkering with it and I got it, and from there I just found a love for trying to fix computers and the whole information technology field. I’m one of the few people to actually be able to do what they dreamed about as a child. And now I get to do it with no traffic.”

Smith is currently attending Champlain University to earn his bachelor’s degree in cyber security, and is on track to graduate in 2023.