Linux provides career transition after military service

After high school, I joined the United States Army. I spent my first enlistment as an Engineer in combat explosives (I was young, it was exciting). Shortly after the Y2K buzz, I re-enlisted, and was sent to another unit where I was given the opportunity to serve as the Battalion Automations Specialist (think: help desk). While I was being shown the ropes, a senior admin a few levels above me pulled me to the side. He told me that although the Army was using Windows, no one on the team was going to take me seriously if I didn’t know Linux.

I was handed a stack of floppies for my first Linux distro and sent on my way. This was early enough that you could still find a couple of distros in Wal-Mart, and so I had a few to cut my teeth on. That stack of floppies changed my career and life forever.