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This week on The FourBlock Podcast, we welcome FourBlock Atlanta alumnus turned coach Jose Fernandez, who now serves as the head of Strategic Threat Intelligence at Truist. A strategic threat intelligence and military veteran recognized as an expert practitioner in all aspects of intelligence operations, Jose served in the United States Army and the Georgia National Guard for a total of 32 years before retiring from service in 2018.
In this episode, Jose joins co-host and FourBlock Founder Mike Abrams to talk about his time in service, his military-to-civilian transition, and his impressive career in cybersecurity. Jose provides in-depth insights about the cybersecurity industry, illuminates what some of his day-to-day responsibilities include in his role with Truist, and shares what he enjoys most about his current role and his career in cybersecurity. Jose also provides expert insights and advice for service men and women who are looking to begin a career in the growing cybersecurity industry after transitioning out of the military.
Jose joined the U.S. Army in 1985 straight out of high school. He enlisted in the Infantry, went to Airborne School, and was then assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in Germany from 1985 to 1987. After his two-year tour, he joined the U.S. Army Central Command as a reservist. He was assigned to 3rd Army Headquarters G-3 as an Operations NCO, deploying to Saudi Arabia in support of Desert Storm / Desert Shield.
After returning, Jose completed his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Georgia State University. In 1996, he transitioned to the Army National Guard, where he was commissioned as a Military Intelligence Officer. Jose was also a firefighter in the Marietta Fire Department from 1998-2002.
In 2002, Jose was brought into the Active Guard Reserve in the Georgia National Guard. His first assignment was the Aide-De-Camp for the Commanding General. In 2005-2006 he deployed to Iraq, where he served with the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. As a Captain, he was responsible for over 70 tactical human intelligence teams spread out over Iraq, working with multiple units.
Jose retired after serving for 32 years. He currently leads strategic threat intelligence for the cyber threat intelligence team at Truist. His team provides strategic level awareness of the cyber threat landscape to make informed strategic decisions to effectively and efficiently run a security function.
Jose holds an M.S. in organizational leadership from Argosy University. Jose is an alumnus of FourBlock’s Fall 2018 Veteran Career Readiness Program in Atlanta and now mentors other FourBlock veterans as the head Career Skills Coach for the Atlanta cohort.
Welcome to the FourBlock Podcast, a show that examines veteran career transition and the military-civilian divide in the workplace. General Charles Krulak coined the term “Three Block War” to describe the nature of 21st-century military service defined by peace-keeping, humanitarian aid, and full combat. But what happens next? Veterans are often unprepared to return home and begin new careers. We call this the Fourth Block.
FourBlock is a national non-profit that has supported thousands of transitioning service members across the nation in beginning new and meaningful careers.
Mike Abrams (@fourblock) is an Afghanistan veteran, FourBlock founder, and author of two military transition books. He’ll be representing the military transition perspective. Lindsey Pollak (@lindsaypollak) is a career and workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author of three career advice books. Lindsey will be representing the civilian perspective of this issue.
Veterans, explore new industries and make the right connections. Find a career that fits your calling. Join us at fourblock.org. Sponsor our program or host a class to equip more of our veterans at fourblock.org/donate.