Capt "CJ" Jaynes
United States Navy
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but when my dog died and I realized that the vet couldn't save her life, I changed my mind. Math was always my favorite subject and it came easy for me, so pursuing a degree in mathematics seemed obvious. I initially decided to become a teacher, and taught for four years at Indiana Area Junior High School. I also earned my Masters in Math during that time while attending night school and summer classes. However, I quickly became bored with teaching and decided to try something different.
With no real career choice in mind, I joined the Navy to stall for 4 years until I could decide what I wanted to do with my life. I completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and was commissioned an Ensign in March 1983. My first duty station was VT 86 in Pensacola, FL. I applied for the Aerospace Maintenance Officer program and was fortunate to be selected, thanks to my degrees in math. Aerospace maintenance is a technical field and math majors are able to compete and succeed against engineers and science majors.
I have eclipsed 25 years now and enjoyed tours in operational squadrons, intermediate maintenance activities, engineering units, and headquarters. I have been stationed in places that I would never have dreamed of seeing. Look for Diego Garcia on the globe (in the middle of the Indian Ocean) and you will see what I mean. Unbelievable! Along with Jacksonville, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Lemoore, CA, Sicily, Spain, the Azores, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Greenland and Japan. I have worked on A-4, T-39, F-14, F/A-18, P-3 and H-60 aircraft over the course of my career. I also had the opportunity to earn a Masters level degree from the Naval War College in 1995, and a Systems Engineering Certification from California Institute of Technology in 1999. I recently completed my MBA from Norwich University to round out my education.
I am currently a Program Manager in charge of 650 people and a $3.2 billion budget. I am responsible for all Air Traffic Control Systems, Combat Identification Systems, and Landing Systems for Navy and Marine Corps Aviation, and work collaboratively with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and FAA. I love the Navy and being an Aerospace Maintenance officer and would not want to be doing anything else, all thanks to my math background. By the way, my mom is still wondering when my 4 year commitment will end so I can pick a career and get a job!