Military Careers

Military is a career option for many students. It’s an opportunity to provide service to your country. But, did you know they had interesting career paths such as archeology, forestry, HVAC design, and construction management? Listen to these military professionals and see if you can find the career you love like they did.


Joseph Noteboom

Mr. Noteboom graduated from Columbus Technical College with an associate’s degree in Industrial Systems and also from Grantham University with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering. His is a Georgia state licensed plumber and holds an EPA 608 Universal Certification. Mr. Noteboom started his career in the military as a Ranger in the Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment. After taking part in the first combat jump into Afghanistan, just 38 days after the events of 9/11, Mr. Noteboom shifted gears into civilian life. After an initial brief stint in college studying accounting, Mr. Noteboom shifted into trades work as a plumber’s apprentice. Close to a decade into various trades, specifically plumbing, electrical, and heating & air conditioning, Mr. Noteboom decided to go back to school, where he completed two degrees in the realm of engineering. Most recently, Mr. Noteboom has been working for the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Benning. He started at Fort Benning as a Maintenance Mechanic in 2009, and for the last two years has been serving as the senior mechanical design engineer for the Engineering Design Branch.

Forrest Prude

Mr. Prude graduated from Columbia College in Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and the University of Oklahoma with a Master’s degree in Human Relations. He is an army retiree after serving 20 years active duty with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Prude started his career in the United States Army and held multiple positions including Construction Foreman, Project Manager and Facility Manager. Most recently, Mr. Prude has been working for the Directorate of Public Works, Engineering Division at Fort Benning. He started at Fort Benning as a Project Manager in 2007, and for the last twelve years has been serving as the Branch Chief for the Construction Inspection Branch.

Samantha Chovanec

Samantha Chovanec is an archaeologist for the Environment Management Division of the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Benning, Georgia. Her interest and love for history started at a very young age, ultimately resulting in her attending Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for a degree in Archaeology. During her field school in Galway, Ireland, Sam’s passion for archaeology became concrete and she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology with a minor in Medieval Studies. Following graduation, Sam worked for various companies in Cultural Resource Management, traveling and working in 13 different states in just 3 short years. Earlier this year, Sam took the archaeologist position at Fort Benning.

James Parker

Mr. Parker graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Forestry and a Master’s Degree in Forestry. He is a licensed Registered Forester and a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager in Georgia and Alabama. Mr. Parker started his career as a graduate research assistant with the Longleaf Alliance working on numerous longleaf pine research projects. He started at Fort Benning in 2001 as a Forester under a post graduate internship. In 2003, Mr. Parker became a land management forester with the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Benning. Later becoming the Chief of the Land Management Branch and most recently as Chief of the Natural Resources Management Branch where he directs all wildlife, forestry, and wildland fire activities across the Installation.

Kirk Ticknor

Mr. Ticknor graduated from Iowa State University with bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Colorado School of Mines with master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. His is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Facilities Manager. Mr. Ticknor started his career as an officer in the Navy’s Nuclear Program and then worked in the private sector for 18 years as a project manager for environmental programs and facilities maintenance. Most recently, Mr. Ticknor has been working for the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Benning. He started at Fort Benning as the Chief of the Operations and Maintenance Division in 2008, and for the last three years has been serving as the Chief of the Environmental Management Division.