I want to say thanks to Jason for taking the time to answer my questions.
- Where are you from originally?
Born in Sacramento, raised in Reno and the SF Bay Area and now living in Colorado.
- Tell us about your line of work.
I enlisted in the Marines in 2000 as in 0311. After OIF 1 I returned home and was hired at Richmond Police Department in California. While there I did everything from patrol, detective, SWAT and a few other awesome assignments in between, I volunteered for just about everything I could. Unfortunately, I had some pretty bad knee injuries that culminated with a partial replacement and the City retired me. From there I did some security contracting at Dropbox and soon found my way into Salient Operations Group. The president of the company, Mitchell McAlister, gave me a shot on the company’s first job. I was the first time in a long time I felt part of a team again, it was awesome. Now I work contracts for them when needed and manage contracts when asked.
- How did enlisting in the military or (law enforcement, etc.) change you?
At the time of my enlistment, my friends were getting heavy into drugs and I would party a lot, work dead end jobs with no direction. I knew if I stuck around in the environment I would get caught up, so I joined. My ultimate goal was to go into law enforcement when ready and having that goal kept me on the path to achieving it.
- What three words best describe your personality and how does it translate into your business or line of work?
Humble, driven and willing. I could break down each word, but basically, they describe that I don’t believe in my own hype, that makes me willing to learn and accept criticism and make myself better. I am driven to learn new things, skills and ways to improve my team as it relates to the work I am doing, I really enjoy being in a team environment, leading or following I do my best in a team.
- What is your favorite food?
Pretty much anything my wife cooks, she kills it in the kitchen.
- Favorite song and how did it affect you?
Now, this is tough, I love music and it has had a huge influence on me throughout my life. Right now, it is split between Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” and Chris Stapleton’s “Traveler”. Every time I hear Wildflowers all I can think about is my daughter, Everly. She’s two and a half and her personality is described to a T in that song, my kids are my world. Traveler really describes me, always going…
- What kind of music do you listen to when you work out?
Anything heavy, mostly rock, if its dark, raw and loud, I am all about it.
- Anything on your bucket list?
See the countryside of Japan and learn more about their history.
- What is your training philosophy?
Train the way you play. I was huge on this in the military and LE. I don’t like to waste repetitions and I always trained with the gear I used on the street or in Iraq. I remember before we deployed, a bunch of guys bought brand new fancy expensive gear a week before we shipped. It looked cool and it made things easier or more comfortable. However, I refused to buy it because I hadn’t trained with it at all and I was comfortable with what I had.
That one time I pushed my fire team leader a little too far and he had to take a moment to talk to Jesus. Luckily, we were in a nice part of Camp Pendleton and he had a pretty view.
- What motivates you?
Being the best example I can be for my kids. And show them its ok to fail, but learn from it and do better.
- What is your biggest weakness?
I am too critical of myself at times.
- How do you challenge yourself at work?
Do something I don’t want to do.
- What’s your advice to folks?
Life is too damn short, don’t be an asshole.
- Future Plans?
I hope to do more security contracting and get involved in training.
- What do you tell yourself when things look bleak?
All my problems are 1st world problems. I have seen true suffering and looked into the eyes of evil, I overcame worse so I just put on foot in front of the other and keep going.
- Any last lesson for our readers?
Ask questions, find what works for you and just do it. Work on your weaknesses, don’t ignore them.
Mattis giving 1st Mar Div a speech before we stepped of to invade Iraq
- Who is your hero in life?
My pops and my mom. I have learned a lot from them either directly or indirectly.
- Tell me about things that didn’t go the way you wanted it, and how you moved on to a better success. I mean, really, what is your biggest failure to date?
The one thing that comes to mind is my time at Dropbox. I was recruited for a job I really wanted to do and it was sold to me as something it turned out not to be. I still tried to do my best but in the end, it did not work out. I put my personal business at risk to purse a great opportunity, however, I learned the hard way how things work on the civilian side and I failed. But that is ok, it made me better and gave me a perspective on what not to do as a manager.
- What has been your biggest success to date?
My biggest success is my family. It is an ongoing process that I strive to be successful at every day and I do not take the opportunity for granted, ever.
- What mental or physical areas did you personally struggle with and how did you overcome them?
I was at the top of my game just a few years ago at RPD, everything ended quick for me and finding myself mentally and physically after has been the hardest thing by far. I have overcome this by surrounding myself with solid people who have given me chances to be a part of something bigger than myself again. This led to me finding a new role in life and an identity outside of military and LE.
Jason Silva enlisted as an 0311 prior to 9/11 and served in OIF 1 with RCT-1, he also held secondary MOS’s of Range Coach/PMI and was an Assault Climber. Upon returning from Iraq he was hired at Richmond Police Department in California, there he served just over 10 years.