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Mark Anderson - Veteran Experience keeps ASI on Top of Security
Security has come a long way since Applied Solutions President Mark Anderson first enlisted in the Army Reserves at 17, and so has Mark. “I’ve had unbelievable experiences that I would have never dreamed of as a young man from West Virginia.” Recently ASI was certified as a Veteran Owned Small Business, and Mark’s experience as a veteran has played a vital role in guiding the company. “When you’re in the military, you meet people from all walks of life, with all different motivations and backgrounds – and as a leader you need to learn to get them behind you whether you’re a General or a Corporal.”
Mark entered the Army Reserves in 1981 as part of the Military Police Corps. He joined Active duty a few years later and served as a computer programmer at Fort Dix, NJ and Tripler Army Medical Center, HI. Later in his career Mark returned to his law enforcement roots as a Special Agent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, first at Fort Drum, NY and eventually performing protective services for Senior Defense officials such as the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This work in the late 1990s and early 2000s kept Mark in the air 300 days a year traveling to over 60 countries, including combat zones such as Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq.
Following a health-related leave in July 2001 -- his first fateful day back at work fell on September 10. In the chaotic period after 9/11, Mark combined his computer skills and agent experience in a command post as a founding member of the Criminal Investigation Task Force for Guantanamo Bay detainees.
After 21 years of active duty, Mark retired in 2004 and started working at ASI. “For me one of the nice things about a small company was a looser, less rigid structure. I was able to become a visible face of the company very quickly.” Ownership of the company passed to Mark and ASI CEO Larry Wallace in 2014. For Mark, small is still beautiful. “We’ve worked hard to build a solid base and hire really good people.
Mark sees ASI’s agility as an asset in today’s challenging security environment. “During the Cold War, it was about physical security and puffing out your chest. It’s evolved to something much more complicated. We live in a world of sophisticated electronics, all kinds of media available to the public, and information to be sorted through that wasn’t there just a few years ago. We have to work harder on securing that information – there are people who will do us harm if we don’t.”
Beyond his military experience, Mark values personal growth. “I never dreamed I’d be the head of a company, and here I am. I love learning from people smarter than I am. I see myself as a manager of very talented people -- people with great ideas and the experience needed to implement those ideas into real-world solutions.”