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A career in cloud management offers a path to $100k salary

virtual hands on keyboard 04Cloud computing has become the norm. And with more entities adopting a cloud posture, opportunities abound for individuals who have some level of expertise in this specialization.

What is the Cloud? Cloud technologies, such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Microsoft Azure, allow organizations to migrate their data storage and computing capabilities off premises. The three most common cloud models are Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The models are implemented in a virtualized environment.

In a nutshell, virtualization is the ability to “split” one physical server into multiple servers using a specialized “operating system” (hypervisor) and/or software. To explore virtualization, you can download VMware Workstation Player or Virtual Box; both are available free for personal use. Each virtual server is viewed as a stand-alone entity from the outside world with its own CPU, memory and storage. In reality, the resources of the physical server are being shared by the virtualized servers. Benefits include reduced hardware costs, increasing efficiency, resiliency and elasticity (ability to increase/decrease computing resources on demand), as well as conserving energy and minimizing hardware footprint.

Why are Organizations Moving to the Cloud? One reason many organizations are moving to the cloud relates to security. Cybersecurity attacks are increasing, yet the talent pool of security experts is not keeping up with the demand. Moving to the cloud mitigates this situation, as cloud companies are able to offer advanced security options and solutions. Another reason relates to cost. By moving to the cloud, the cost of storage, applications and computing cycles can be structured based on a variety of options from on-demand pricing, pay-as-you-go, to a “subscription” based model. All this, without the need to purchase, set up or maintain physical equipment.

Who is Moving to the Cloud? Organizations of all sizes are moving many of their computing capabilities to the cloud. Even a sole developer can benefit from using the cloud as they would have a plethora of services and computing options available with the click of the button.

How FTCC Can Help. Fayetteville Technical Community College offers an associate degree in IT/Cloud Management as well as a certificate option. The curriculum presents plenty of hands-on opportunities to help learners gain practical exposure and realize a meaningful learning experience. Industry certifications helps students prepare for Python, CompTIA (Security+), VMware, Red Hat, AWS and Azure. The role of a cloud specialist involves:

•Helping organizations migrate to the cloud.

•Building out and configuring the cloud infrastructure (computing, networking and security).

•Developing functions, applications or databases that run on the cloud.

•Managing an organization’s on-premise hardware and software with a cloud emphasis.

How Much can a Cloud Specialist Earn? According to Glassdor.com the average base pay for Cloud Engineers is $100,00 per year. And according to ZipRecruiter.com, “as of Jan 18, 2021, the average annual pay for an Entry Level Cloud Engineer in the United States is $85,161.” The high salary is an indication of the shortage of talent that exists in the cloud realm. Companies are willing to pay a premium and will handsomely reward individuals who take the time to learn the valuable skills required to successfully serve in the cloud management space.

Shifting the thought process of computing from a physical perspective to a virtualized environment may take a little bit of time. However, with a little effort, focus and dedication, a significant degree of competency will be achieved, and it will be well worth the journey. Call or visit FTCC to learn more.

Comic Con is back

Comic Con 02The Fayetteville Comic Con will return to the Crown Expo Center for one weekend in June. On Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20, Comic Con will present a family friendly atmosphere that celebrates all forms and fans of American and World Popular Culture for those who like comics, cosplay, gaming, collectible toys, or anime. The world of Comic-Con is not unlike that of a long-running comic series: it’s its own action-packed world filled with colorful characters and intricate story lines. Much like comics, getting into it can be a bit intimidating for the uninitiated. Comic-Con is a lot of fun with a non-judgmental atmosphere. Tickets can be purchased online at www.CapeFearTix.com. This year’s Fayetteville Comic Con will feature special guests from the world of comics and popular culture.

A new feature available at the library

Library interior 01The Cumberland County Public Library announced BookMatch, a new service that will help adult readers find their next great read. Interested customers can fill out short online questionnaires on the library's website to identify books they have read and like, as well as the characteristics they’re looking for in a book. BookMatch’s features allow readers to choose a genre, time-period, location and character type. Based on the answers, library staffs can create and email readers custom-made lists. Customers can also have items on the list placed on hold for pickup at any of the library’s eight locations. “We have so many amazing books and we’d love to help our customers figure out what to read next,” said Adult Services Librarian Marissa Mace. To complete the questionnaire, visit cumberland.lib.nc.us/ccplsite/content/readers-corner. Readers can also call 910-483-7727 for more information or email readers@cumberland.lib.nc.us.

Spouses attend Special Operations Q-Course at Camp Mackall

04 210506 A OP908 0793sOn a normal day at Camp Mackall, hundreds of soldiers seeking to join the elite ranks of Army Special Operations, are running, rucking, climbing and utilizing logic and intelligence to solve problems. On May 6, things looked a little different as the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School’s Family Programs hosted a Spouse Q-Course, which brought the spouses of Special Operations soldiers, cadre and students to the training ground to walk a mile or two in their soldiers’ boots.

Dee Ann Rader, the Family Resiliency Coordinator for Family Programs, greeted the spouses with a big smile. “This is going to be a great day,” said Rader. “Nothing but good vibes today. I know the spouses are going to have a great day, and that the SWCS cadre will do a great job.”

Rader’s enthusiasm was matched by the spouses who came in groups and began to mingle immediately. The spouses were excited and their energy filled the room. “This is really a great day to have this event,” continued Rader. “Tomorrow (Friday, May 7) is Military Souse Appreciation Day — so we couldn’t have chosen a better day.”

The event is one of many family events that is funded by One Team. One Team is an Army funded inclusive program intended to fill in gaps in readiness of SWCS student spouses and families, with the goal of providing resources, training, connections and mentorship to build a firm foundation of knowledge, strength and resiliency as they move forward in the Special Operations community.

The group was welcomed to Camp Mackall by Maj. Jacob Wachob, acting commander of 1st Bn., 1st Special Warfare Training Group. 1st Battalion is in charge of ARSOF Selection and Assessments, as well as the qualification courses for Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations and Special Forces.

“We hope this will be a fun and educational day for you,” he said. “You are going to face some challenges, try some good food and have the opportunity to see and do things that you have not done before. Bite off what you can chew — figuratively and literally — and we hope you have a great day.”

“Nasty Nick” is the world-famous obstacle course that stretches across Camp Mackall. Prior to beginning their day, the spouses watched a video that describes the course. Looking across the room, the spouses looked on in trepidation, but also in excitement.

“You are going to get to do things today that most people won’t ever get to do. The obstacle course assess your strength, agility and forces you to conquer your fears,” a member of the cadre explained.

Prior to tackling the obstacle course, the spouses spent time at the SERE Compound. SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) is a training program that prepares U.S. military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and contractors to survive and "return with honor” should they ever be captured by enemy forces.

At the SERE compound, the spouses were divided into teams — much like the small teams Army Special Operations Soldiers operate in while deployed — to move through various areas of the training, including weapons, trapping and survival techniques. They also had a chance to check out the “Road Kill Café.”

At the trapping location, spouses learned how soldiers were trained to find water and food if they were ever caught behind enemy lines. A member of the cadre explained that students are taught to focus on protein, noting that students are taught about animals that they can find in various areas of the world, and were shown number of ways of trapping an animal using things you find around you like a rock or string. He explained that a soldier may set 12 traps, but percentage wise would only get one hit, noting that they are looking for smaller animals such as squirrels, rabbits and even rats.

Jessica, whose husband is in the Civil Affairs Qualification Course, signed up for the event because she “wanted to see first-hand what her husband was going through” so she could “relate to the stories “ her husband shared with her about his training. “This gives me perspective on what he is doing, and I can understand what he is talking about.”

At the weapons station, they learned that weapons can be made from just about anything, including rocks and sticks. They were given the opportunity to use a couple of the weapons, the first, called a “rabbit stick,” is quite literally a heavy stick that is thrown in a lateral movement at a small animal. The next weapon was a man-made spear that was launched with an atlatl, which is a tool that uses leverage to achieve great velocity.

Elle, a vivacious brunette, was the first to jump at the chance to throw the rabbit stick. Her throw was not on the mark — or even near it — but she laughed at how bad her throw was. “My husband is in the Special Forces Qualification Course, and when I heard about this, I jumped because I wanted to understand more about what my husband was doing. By doing this, I can connect on a different level having seen for myself what he talks about. I really never thought I would have the opportunity to do this.”

Jamie’s husband has been in the Army 8 years, and is now in the SFQC. “This is the first time I’ve gotten to see Camp Mackall and having the opportunity to experience new thing and meet new people sounded great to me. It is also pretty neat to learn how make a weapon from thing you pick up off the ground.”

While most of the attendees were not successful with the atlatl, Jewels, a former soldier, and athlete, hit the target dead center multiple times. “I’m really interested in what he has been doing, and while I am prior military it’s cool to see the SOF side of the house. This is a good group of women, and we are having a lot of fun together.”

The bonding of spouses is one of the goals of Family Programs. Carolyn Roberson, the Senior Advisor to Family Programs, is the spouse of Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson, the SWCS Commander. Having lived the Army life, Carolyn explained that the bonds between military spouses are important, particularly when soldiers are deployed or away at training. She noted that having a support system of people who know what you are going through is key to navigating Army life. Having helped plan the event, she was excited to see the bonds that were formed by the spouses and their willingness to try new things and tackle obstacles.

Prior to leaving the SERE area, the attendees had a chance to taste the offerings of the “Road Kill Café.” The day’s menu was comprised of beaver, otter, goat, deer and raccoon that was cooked by the cadre. The majority of the spouses at least took a bite or two of the offerings, with one woman noting that it “wasn’t that bad.”

Elia is a native of Colombia, but her husband is a Special Forces Medic, who previously served in 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), but is now an instructor at the Special Warfare Medical Group, which trains ARSOF medics.

“When we were in Colombia, I didn’t get to see or know much about what he did and didn’t have the opportunity to see it,” she said. “So I wanted to come out and see and learn.”

The excitement grew as the six teams approached Nasty Nick. While some of the attendees were hesitant as they approached the obstacle course, Aisha grew more excited. “Specifically, I wanted to see these obstacles.”

She not only saw them, she also got a chance to climb them, cross them and vault across them (the vault wasn’t very successful); however, the teams came together to lift, push and pull one another across – which is symbolic of the way spouses support one another while their soldiers are deployed: They come together as “one team.”

(All photos by K. Kassens, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.)

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Warfighter Health Symposium to address military, veteran health topics

warfighter health symposiumThe Task Force Dagger Special Operations Foundations and the Hunterseven Foundation are coming together to host the Warfighter Health Symposium on May 18. The interactive event is designed to educate service members and veterans on the importance of understanding military exposures as they relate to wellness.

The educational discussion is free, however, those wanting to attend should register ahead of time as there are only 200 spots available.

The information presented in this symposium includes military situational awareness, understanding your operational environment, top toxic exposures, and health concerns in military veterans. As well as published academic research conducted by the HunterSeven medical team, other topics presented include identifying gaps in healthcare provider knowledge as it relates to veteran health care, preventative measures, and being proactive in your healthcare while in and out of service.

This event is for ages 18 and up. The content presented in this symposium is for those who are active military, veterans, their families, medical providers and congressional legislators. There will be Q & A time, a networking session and food and drinks available.

There will be a variety of presenters including Army Master Sgt. Geoff Dardia, a Green Beret; former Army Sgt. Chelsey Poisson, a registered nurse; June Heston, wife of Brigadier General Michael Heston; and video testimonies of veterans dealing with health issues. A video from North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis will also be shown during the event.

The Warfighter Health Symposium will take place from 6-9 p.m. on May 18 at Studio 15 located at 215 Williams St. in Fayetteville. For more information and to register for the event visit the website https://bit.ly/WarfighterHealthNC.

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