James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense


Office of Warrior Care Policy

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I come from very humble beginnings; I worked from a very young age so I could be self-sufficient.
I was an athlete all throughout my childhood, and that drive certainly helped to pave my path.
I joined the Marine Corps because, as we all know, it's the best service in the world.
While I was serving on active duty, I simultaneously attained an undergraduate degree.
After I left active duty, I used my G.I. Bill to complete my master's degree.
I chose to remain enlisted so that I could pursue appointments reserved for military officers.
I continued to take professional development courses at Georgetown University and Babson College.
I've also participated in several presidential workshops; I deeply believe in life-long education.

Education

High School
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
University of Maryland-University College
Graduate
International Business/Trade/Commerce
George Mason University

Career

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

I am responsible for policy oversight at the Department of Defense's Wounded Warrior programs.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Armed Services
Government
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

Every day I work with injured service members to figure out how our Wounded Warriors programs can best support them. This entails me working with my program managers and partner organizations to help us find the training, employment opportunities, or health services necessary for these wounded vets. I also assist in writing policies that ensure that our commanders and military leaders are abiding by congressional mandates when they report on the progress and execution of our programs.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

It's important for you to understand the relationships between different world governments and leaders. If you can anticipate the decisions that will be made at the top levels of government, you'll better understand how those decisions and that political landscape will affect our military.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

There is a minimum level of education that you need to complete before you can enter into a senior government role, so obviously going to college is a very important first step. You also need to have certain levels of professional development within the industry that you're trying to excel in. You have to be able to identify the opportunities open to you, and then prove yourself within those roles.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
graduate
Graduate
International Business/Trade/Commerce

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"How typical of you to fail a class. You'll never be successful."

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
First-Generation College Student