Honoring Our Veterans

Spotlight: Noblis Salutes its Employee Veterans

Noblis honors all veterans, reservists, and active duty service members

We’re proud to spotlight two more employees in the last installment of our Noblis Veterans Spotlight series—Samuel Gross and Michael Norkus.

Sam is a Noblis employee who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years.  

Michael is a Noblis NSP employee who served in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years.   

Read the spotlights below to learn more about Sam and Michael’s honorable service in this last installment of the Noblis Veteran Spotlight series. The leadership skills, sense of duty, and commitment our 200 veteran employees bring to Noblis is invaluable—and we’re proud to spotlight their service.    


Sam joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1999 for “what seemed like an adventure” during a peacetime.

“But just over a year later, 9/11 happened and the world changed in a day,” he recalled about the abrupt change from peacetime to wartime. “I immediately realized the full weight of my oath of service, and volunteered to deploy abroad.”

During his four years in the Marines, Sam served in Kosovo, East Africa, and Iraq. He said that the humanitarian aspects of his service, such as helping displaced children, have impacted him the most.

“In every place I served, we always made humanitarian service part of our mission whenever possible,” he said.

Sam said that he developed quality leadership skills during his time as a Marine, including how to organize a team of diverse individuals around a mission objective. He also learned the importance of adaptability.

“In the military, nothing ever goes according to the plan,” said Sam. “As such, a good plan includes careful attention to detail, and contingency plans for as many things as might go wrong.”

Today, Sam is a mathematician and senior cryptographer at Noblis, supporting DHS and FBI.

He explained that learning adaptability in the military helped prepare him for his career.

“[Like military service] Quality research takes many bad ideas and mistakes, which are eventually adapted into a final solution,” said Sam. “I don’t think I would have ever made it through college had it not been for my military experience. My first college class was developmental math, and 9nine years later I was given a PhD.”


Michael served in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years. He was inspired to serve by his family, his interest in “all things air and space,” and his desire to serve a greater good.

“By age 13, my decision to join the Air Force had been made,” said Michael. “To serve is more than a career choice, it was and is still seen as a vocation…a calling.”

Michael recalls that serving in the Balkan and Kosovo conflicts was a profound memory of his service, especially because those conflicts took place only a few years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. 

“I found myself standing side by side with my former adversaries, planning and executing operations together,” said Michael. “We were integrating Western and former-Soviet forces in one concerted effort against a shared threat, which was ironic having lived most of my life during the Cold War.”

Like many other veterans, 9/11 also shaped some of Michael’s most memorable times in service, that had a profound effect on him and his family.

“Taking my children to see the Pentagon to explain why Mom and Dad devoted their lives to service, it brought us together in a way no other means could.”

He shared a memorable conversation with his five-year-old son following the attack, while playing with his Legos. “When I asked what the structure was, he said it was a new and stronger Pentagon to stop the terrorists and help you protect the people better.” 

Today, Michael is a cyber threat analyst at Noblis NSP, developing new tools for integrating intelligence and network/security operations.

“I continue to seek opportunities serving the greater good for the Nation and Noblis was a natural transition,” said Michael. “In many ways Noblis displays the same cultural, ethical values and way of life from my time in the service.”

Click here to read our first spotlight, featuring Neil Gensler and Brownie Brown

Click here to read our second spotlight, featuring Lauren Pesin and Alex Smith

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