Tech Sgt. Francsico Ramirez, water and liquid fuels maintenance supervisor for the 103rd Civil Engineering Squadron.
Tech Sgt. Francsico Ramirez, water and liquid fuels maintenance supervisor for the 103rd Civil Engineering Squadron, Connecticut Air National Guard, and a clinical data manager and database builder for a Connecticut pharmaceutical company sees his dissimilar careers as a way to challenge his brain and to enhance his overall skill level. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Bowcock, 103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs)

Tech. Sgt. Francisco Ramirez wanted to join the military since a very young age. When he was unable to find a job after graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in biomolecular science, he decided to go ahead and enlist out of necessity. Unbeknownst to him, however, military service was a family legacy.

“I never knew until I graduated basic training,” Ramirez said. “When my biological mother came to visit me, I was showing her my area of living; the way you put your shoes and line them up with the ruler or how you roll up your t-shirts and socks. She started crying and she told me ‘I never told you this, but your father was a World War II veteran’. I never knew that before. I found out that my grandfather also was a military veteran. It was almost like an innate thing.”

Eventually, Ramirez was able to find a job in his degree field and currently works as a clinical data manager and database builder for a pharmaceutical company in Connecticut.

“I setup clinical trials for cancer patients on a global level and I setup the database that collects all the data for those patients,” said Ramirez. “I take the data and transform it to the correct format for the (Federal Drug Administration) so our company can submit our findings to the FDA so we can get the drugs approved for cancer patients.”

He loves his job and finds it fulfilling. Before working on the technical side, he worked closely with patients and doctors.

“I was at Yale University at the spinal cancer center running clinical trials for myeloma, lymphoma, and leukemia patients,” Ramirez said. “I had an array of patients, where I got to see their everyday lives, monitor their treatment, schedule their appointments, talk to them, and get to know them at a personal level.”

However, one weekend a month, Ramirez also serves as a water and liquid fuels maintenance supervisor for the 103rd Civil Engineering Squadron.

Ramirez could have joined the medical squadron with his background; that would have been an easy choice. But that wasn’t enough for him, he wanted a challenge. He wanted to learn something new.

“Being here in Civil Engineering on the weekends challenges my brain to think differently than I do in my civilian job,” said the Central Conn. State University graduate. “The skills I learn here are really life skills. My main job is water and fuels maintenance, but in reality, and in addition to that, I learn many different skills; from structures to electrical to HVAC. I can use these skills in my personal life, which is a great benefit in addition.”

Despite having two dissimilar careers, the experiences and training have throughout his military career have helped prepare Rameriz in his civilian jobs as well.

“We use a lot of checklists, forms, and processes [in the military],” he stated. “In the civilian world, I feel that is what they are lacking in their work environment. A lot of times I will be find a military form that would work for use in the civilian world and rework it to make it fit.”

But forms and paperwork are not all the military has to offer him. As a technical sergeant and noncommissioned officer, leadership skills have been developed that give Ramirez the confidence take bolder steps in his civilian life because he feels empowered to make decisions.

“Being put in leadership, for me, was character developing and it was a confidence booster, which in the civilian world you need that to navigate anywhere you go,” he said. “You don’t have to wait for someone to tell you to make a decision for you to make it if you feel it is the right decision to make and you can defend it if you are wrong. I find myself taking the same approach in my civilian job as opposed to my counterparts. Civilian employers, they find that as taking initiative, avant-garde, and thinking outside the box. You don’t realize it, but it is a huge benefit.”