Investing in the Future of 5G

Investing in the Future of 5G

Jim, a "boomerang" employee who left Lockheed Martin, gained critical skills at another firm, and returned a few years later to continue pursuing his passion in aerospace and defense, works as an Engineering Manager in our Space division.

May 23, 2023

Lockheed Martin's 5G.MIL® solutions enable joint all-domain operations by providing seamless and resilient connectivity capabilities that securely link current and future assets with cutting-edge technology. With our industry experience, mission expertise and strategic commercial relationships, we're ready to assist our customers in rapidly and affordably fielding, scaling and deploying this transformative technology across all domains.

Discover the unique career journeys of our talented 5G.MIL® team members. Gain insights from their advice for the future workforce, learn about their daily responsibilities and witness how Lockheed Martin has supported their career growth. 

Jim C
Jim C., Engineering Manager, Lockheed Martin Space

Describe your career path to get to Lockheed Martin.

I originally joined Lockheed Martin in 2009 and spent my first six years with Commercial Space Systems in Newtown, Pennsylvania, supporting the Antenna and RF engineering teams and, ultimately, the facility moved to Denver, Colorado. During the end of the facility transition, I left Lockheed Martin for an opportunity within Gore’s Electronics Division to lead technology and product development activities for their aerospace business.

During my time with Gore, I had the opportunity to mature innovative technologies and introduce new concepts to the aerospace market. Gore provided me with significant opportunities and the autonomy to develop businesses within the overall company.

However, at my core, I have always maintained a passion for aerospace and defense, and as time passed, I came to realize that I needed closer proximity to aerospace and defense missions. With the emergence of the 5G.MIL® program at Lockheed Martin, I saw the perfect opportunity to merge my recent product development experience with an aerospace company mission in support of modern technologies. I rejoined Lockheed Martin in 2021 as an Engineering Program Manager for the Space 5G team, and I have not looked back since.

For people willing to be a catalyst, Lockheed Martin provides endless fuel for career growth within the company.


How has Lockheed Martin supported your career growth at the company?

In my eight years, Lockheed Martin has supported my pursuit of a master’s degree in Systems Engineering, training in the Toyota Lean Production Model, and training in 5G systems. Additionally, with Lockheed Martin’s position as a prime, I have had opportunities to support programs throughout proposal, development, and completion. For people willing to be a catalyst, Lockheed Martin provides endless fuel for career growth within the company.

Describe your day-to-day in your current role.

In my role, I work frequently between technical experts and line of business leadership to make sure our teams are driving technical progress on our programs. To do so, I’ll spend time each day in one on one meetings with my team members, provide program updates to leadership, and work with new business to make sure our technical teams have the capabilities our emerging customers require.

What made you decide to enter the field of 5G.Mil?

I am drawn to the challenge of bringing new technologies to emerging markets, and 5G.MIL represents a bold initiative to mature 5G solutions for our nation’s defense.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a similar career path?

I have always enjoyed working between teams and across disciplines. I would encourage those with similar interests to incorporate hypothesis testing into their own careers. Identify areas or challenges that interest you and develop methods or experiences to gain exposure in those areas. I have had several challenges and stretch assignments throughout my career, and not all of them have been successful; however, those challenges have also offered me the opportunity to refine my own understanding of what I can bring to a team. More importantly, stretch assignments and challenges allow for you to build new relationships across a company, and that has consistently been one of the most fulfilling elements of working at Lockheed Martin.

What do you do with your off-Friday?

I have two young children, so my “off-Fridays” are really their “on-Fridays”. When they’re back from school, we’ll go hiking or play at the park.

What would you say to someone considering Lockheed Martin as a place to work?

Lockheed Martin is a company people can truly have a career within. For those who want to grow and explore, Lockheed Martin is tough to beat.

James and Family