Obsidian Spotlight: Samuel Vass
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
Samuel Vass grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. He joined the US Army in October of 1998 and spent 15 years on active duty as a Military Policeman. He got married to his wonderful wife Kari in 2004 and helped raise 2 great step-kids. Being on active duty, he got the opportunity to take his family to some outstanding duty stations including West Point, NY. A tour in Germany, and Savannah, GA. Vass left active duty in 2013 to pursue a career in technology. He joined the Army Reserves as an IT Computer Specialist, and started a civilian career as a computer technician at an electronic recycling company.
On the civilian side, quickly progressing from there to Ebay as datacenter technician, Hill AFB as a network engineer, to Ft. Irwin CA as a network engineer, and back to his current position at Hill AFB as a network engineer/site lead. On the Army Reserve side, he progressed from a Computer technician at a Finance Company, to the Senior Enlisted Manager of Logistical Communications at a Sustainment Brigade. He is currently transitioning to an Observer/Controller/Trainer position to help train the next generation on how to survive on the battlefield. Vass has been deployed 7 times in my 23 year in the Army, 6 of them to combat zones.
What is your role at Obsidian?
I currently fill the Network Engineer position on the 309th SWEG Cyber Operations contract at Hill AFB. I also act as the site lead, providing administrative support to the other 3 members of the team.
What has been one of your proudest moments while working with Obsidian?
I guess I would have to say this. You come in everyday and work to make sure that company goals are met and that your people are taken care of. You do it because it’s the right thing to do. I would have to say a close second would be when I heard out this upcoming contract, and that I was selected to fill it.
What question would you like to ask our CEO?
How can I be more involved in the company, and is there ever going to be a point where I get to not only help to move the company forward with my work, but also financially invest in the future as well.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
I already did, it’s Corey Sulivan
Fill in the blank: I once met…
Tom Hanks, Reba McEntire, and Gary Busey when I worked as a Lifty at Park City Ski Resort here in Utah. In fact, I was one of the attendants that put Reba McEntire on the chair lift 20 minutes before she fell and broke her hip
What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?
Either relaxing with my family, or tinkering around in my Network/Virtualization lab, trying to find a better way to do something for the contract that I’m on.
What are your 3 favorite bands/artists? What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Favorites: Poison, Offspring, and Motley Crue. The best concert that I’ve ever been to was a couple of years ago. 3 Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s went on tour, it was Cheap Tricks, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and Heart. It was just amazing to see them all, together, in one concert.
What is the last book you read?
Other than Technical Manuals, non-fiction was Hacksaw Ridge: The True Story of Desmond Doss, by Ronald Kruk (mainly because until my latest transfer, I was assigned to that unit). Fiction, would be Blood Heir, by Ilona Andrews. My wife and I read a lot of Ilona Andrews.
What ranks number one on your bucket list?
Taking my wife to Paris to see the Louvre. I’ve been once, but she hasn’t had the opportunity to go. So, I would love to take her one day.
What advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
Law Enforcement is cool and rewarding, but you will find computers more fulfilling. Stick with the computers.