Tecunuman Garcia

Tecunuman Garcia

Metallurgy Senior Technologist

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, NM USA

I think it’s a natural instinct to want to get out and explore. It’s about who you are and what you need to do. Just roll with it.


By Roadtrip Nation

Tecunuman Garcia


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico.
My father left the family when I was very young, so I was raised by my mother—when I was four years old, we moved off of the reservation in order to find better opportunities.
After graduating high school, I attended the University of New Mexico for a few years, where I majored in medicine, but never graduated with my degree.
I was recruited to join the U.S. Navy, where I served as a combat corpsman specializing in emergency medicine for over nine years.
Got stationed in Japan for four years and was given the opportunity to build and supervise an emergency room in a remote area that met Joint Commission Accreditation Health Organization standards.
As I got older, carrying heavy medical packs was getting hard on my body and I kept feeling the urge to do something different, so I decided to switch over to the U.S. Coast Guard.
I spent the last decade of my military career in the U.S. Coast Guard, where I pursued my interests in electronics and technology by working as a senior electronic technician.
After retiring from the military, I got an opportunity to work at Sandia National Laboratories, where I’m currently a metallurgy senior technologist.
Keep following my journey


Metallurgy Senior Technologist

I work with a wonderful team in material science making strides to make this world a better place.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

My work mainly involves protecting national interests and security. I do a lot of research and development and project management. My days are typically spent in a lab working with various chemicals and equipment.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Utilize the online resources that are available to you. Perfect your resume, use LinkedIn and networking to give yourself an edge. Practice your interviewing skills and know how to sell your talents to an employer. Don't let your lack of a degree work against you. Apply for jobs anyway and negotiate with your prospective employer to let you show them that you have what it takes. Be prepared financially when you leave active military duty and transition into civilian life. Planning is key!


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Why would you leave the military? Just stay and keep doing what you are doing."

Challenges I Overcame

Raised By A Single Parent
Career Change

Interviewed By



Changing careers and reinventing your path