Hector Surita joined NCI in March 2020 as the Deputy Chief Technology Officer and served in the U.S. Navy from 1992 to 1998. He’s also a member of a long lineage of a military family that has served our country for generations - his great-great-grandfather served in WWI; his grandfather served in WWII; his great-uncle was the Master Sargent of the U.S. Army at the Pentagon; his uncle was in the 101st Airborne in Korea; another uncle was a U.S. Army Medic in Vietnam; and yet another uncle served as a Green Beret in Vietnam.
So, it goes without saying that Surita knows quite a bit about the unique sacrifices and challenges of military service. And celebrating them on Veterans Day, and every day, is something that is clearly part of his DNA.
“When it comes to remembrance on Veterans Day, there is a sad reality of war, sacrifice, and loss in the name of protecting our country,” Surita explained. “But I choose to honor those service members and families by observing, mentoring, praising and bearing witness to the impact that our men, women, and families have here at home, at NCI, and across the challenges our country faces inside our borders.”
U.S. Navy Veteran and current Corporate Vice President and Deputy CTO at NCI Information Systems
Surita, who is a first-generation born American with roots in Puerto Rico, proudly noted that throughout history, it’s been the military, and of course, the Veterans who followed, that have “built the bridges across ethnic lines in communities, workplaces and set examples for our fellow countrymen to embody.”
“Veterans become teachers, doctors, police officers, counselors, volunteers, politicians and even philanthropists,” Surita said. “We need to celebrate what they have brought as a whole back home and embrace the DNA change agents that the service members and their families are for us as a nation.”
Surita sees himself as one of those change agents in his community, in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, within his role at NCI, and it was his unique experiences in the military – from being a part of an escort team, as a driver for visiting dignitaries at the Naval War College in Rhode Island to being a part of SEAL Team 8 – that have helped him lead through times of challenge and change.
“You don’t need a rifle to have purpose, contribute or even prevent a catastrophe,” Surita said. “You need to be informed, prepared, have trust in the power of the collective team. You must, as a leader, be able to identify strengths and weaknesses on your team.”
But he also stressed that at times, you must fail; in order to have the best lessons.
“But fail safely, if possible, learn constantly, and expect accountability from everyone. Only then will we all succeed. That’s our culture at NCI, and why we are never afraid to take on new challenges.”