Our employee spotlight shines a light on one employee at a time. We value diversity and inclusion and welcome diverse thinking. It takes a village — through collaboration, living safely and driving innovation we realize our goals and help our clients achieve mission success. Our mantra is people first, mission always. In September, we’ll focus on Hispanic Heritage Month. Today’s Q&A is with Josh Reyes, Technical Advisor.
How did you come to join Amentum?
After 10 years in the Navy, I transitioned to civilian life to prioritize being present for my growing family. I began my career with our company in the demilitarization (demil) industry at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Alabama. That mission eventually transitioned me to the Anniston SDC Facility where I currently work.
How did your military service prepare you for a successful career at Amentum?
I learned how essential teamwork is, as well as the value of developing a versatile skillset.
What is your professional and personal background?
Professionally, the first 10 years of my career was focused on Nuclear Engineering in the Navy. The next 17 years (and counting) have been in the demil industry in various roles, beginning with Operations as a Control Room Operator (CRO), then Training as a CRO Instructor, and then Project Management in 2010 for my current role as Technical Advisor.
I grew up in small-town New Mexico in a family with little means…but amazing food! I learned the value of work ethic, appreciation for what little I had, and to value what matters most – faith and family! I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ since my youth, and my Christian faith has been the foundation and catalyst for my life and career – which have both been incredible journeys beyond what I ever could have asked or imagined!
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
Like most of our team at the Anniston SDC, I wear multiple hats. I primarily serve as the site munitions expert, which means I do a hefty amount of research, evaluation and training for project mission scopes, as well as test development and coordination for the Army. The immediate local impact is keeping our team and facility safe through my research and training on the hazards of munitions we handle and destroy. The broader impact is improving the safety and well-being of our local community, the environment, and communities across the country we support through destruction of aging ammunition and explosives.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
Career-wise, it’s been a willingness and drive to step into the unknown and find success. A highlight is support of several international new business ventures, which enabled me to serve as team lead for projects in several countries, including Japan and China.
Overall, using my God-given talents and calling to invest in the lives of others through teaching, mentoring, and serving. A highlight of that is a rock-climbing wall I built in Vietnam at a therapy center for children with special needs. I receive regular updates on how life-changing it is for them in their physical therapy and emotional wellness!
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
First, the people. The team I work with at the Anniston SDC Facility is more like a family. A diversity of backgrounds and perspectives has become our strength, and the mutual respect we share enables us to maintain a balance of trust and a questioning attitude.
Second, the company emphasis on safety and environmental excellence. The top-down buy-in of this culture has empowered every employee at our facility to own and endorse worker and workplace safety, regardless of rank or position.
What are you passionate about?
My Christian faith, my family, and legacy living. I’m also passionate about rock climbing – using it for personal growth and positively impacting others.
What’s your career advice?
Work with enthusiasm, ethics, excellence, and expectation and you’ll go far! And always invest in your people (above, beside and below)! The right relationships promote a unified workforce and produce amazing results.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
A favorite safety tip I learned is to take workplace safety practices and habits home with me! This has really helped me slow down and perform home repair tasks more safely as well as pass on good safety habits to my family.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
Music! It’s a powerful force in our lives that crosses language and cultural barriers to bring us together…like tacos!
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
Foundation, priorities, and growth are essential to a fulfilled life. Our lives are only as secure as the foundation they are built on, so pick one that can’t be shaken or taken! Jesus Christ has proven to be the unbreakable foundation of my life. Priorities built on that solid foundation and rightly ordered provide balance. A healthy hunger and pursuit of personal growth promote wonder, discovery, and pushing past boundaries we never thought possible.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
It’s a consistent reminder to remember my roots. It helps me to appreciate my humble beginnings and be mindful and supportive of others walking that path. It also reminds me of the reality of the American dream and how it truly is achievable for those who stay hungry. Finally, it serves as one of many pieces in the diversity puzzle that makes up our incredible nation, which should remind us that our cultural differences can and should be celebrated!