Not long ago, Jacob Gulack was a Fresno, California, teenager trying to figure out his life's direction. Today, he's an award-winning Army staff sergeant mapping out a career in geospatial intelligence.
Gulack is a cyber-infrastructure team squad leader serving in the Army GEOINT Battalion at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield, Virginia, who embodies the "total solider concept," said his supervisor, Sgt. 1st Class David Samuelson.
"His soldier skills, his training and his work as an imagery analyst earn him respect," said Samuelson.
"Gulack won the National Ground Intelligence Center’s Best Warrior Competition 2013," said Samuelson. "He was nominated as the Geointelligence Midgrade Analyst of the Quarter, and he's received several Army commendation medals."
Gulack’s work on a joint intelligence endeavor enabled the discovery of valuable opposition data on electrical infrastructure and power-flow dynamics, according to official Army records. The records characterized his accomplishment as unprecedented for someone of his rank and experience.
When he first entered the Army, Gulack said he was just another solider pushing a broom. Life changed for him three years ago when he was sent to training to become an imagery analyst.
"I didn't know what an imagery analyst was three years ago,"said Gulack.
Today he attributes his success to his passion for the job and his coworkers.
"I love what I do and the people I work with" said Gulack. "Our team is out there doing great things."
Gulack’s team of imagery analysts works with intelligence analysts as part of NGA's Source Directorate Fusion branch. "In all-source intelligence, we fuse products together, make overall products and send to the customers," said Gulack.
No longer a 19-year-old who isn't sure what we wants, at 24, Gulack is focused, driven and excited about the work he's doing, he said.
"We’re supporting national-level intelligence products all across military and civilian agencies, and the team I work on is the best in the military," he said.
"You come in to work and you can see the big picture of what you’re doing-it makes you want to work even harder," said Gulack. "It makes you want to strive harder to make these things happen so that the products you’re sending to the customer have even more of an impact."
Know a service member worthy of an NGA Salute? Send your suggestion to Pathfinder@nga.mil.