As he finished the night shift as a security guard for a hospital, Glenn Boatwright — now a senior distribution construction analyst for Georgia Power – would often stop by a local grocery store, still in uniform, for a snack on his way to class at Troy University in Alabama in 1998.
Boatwright was no stranger to wearing uniforms. Unbeknownst to the store clerk and others standing in line, he'd already spent 11 years in the military working with top secret military intelligence, work that would later win him the first of two prestigious awards.
Something about him must have impressed the Southern Nuclear human resources (HR) representative, however, standing several people in line behind him. She called after him as he was leaving the store, but Boatwright didn't hear her. The persistent HR representative asked the clerk if she knew him and if it would be okay to leave her card. It seemed they were looking for security guards at Farley Nuclear Plant.
The message was soon passed to Boatwright, who interviewed with the HR representative. He told her he had just enlisted in the Navy Reserve, and she assured him that the military-friendly Southern Nuclear would be the perfect fit for his dual careers, and he agreed.
Boatwright re-entered the service at the same rank, working his way up to chief petty officer – a feat only 20 percent of sailors achieved in 2010, according to the U. S. Navy.
During his first 11 years in the military, Boatwright established and led a reporting cell that provided vital cryptologic information to national consumers that had a direct impact on the war on terrorism.
"I would take bits and pieces of intelligence information and create a picture of what I believed was going on out in the field," explained Boatwright.
Though the exact information can't be revealed, Boatwright said some of this information was used in support of two Iraqi wars and the war currently in Afghanistan.
As a result of his superior performance, Boatwright won his first Navy Achievement Medal in 2006, an award given by the Navy and Marine Corps "for noteworthy acts or services that reflect most creditably on the efforts of the individual towards the accomplishments of the unit's mission," according to the military's website.
In the meantime, Boatwright began to apply for different jobs within the company. He moved from Dothan, Ala. to Atlanta in 2000, where he began his career as a forecaster, followed by senior marketing data analyst at SouthernLinc Wireless, and then to his current position as a senior construction analyst in Georgia Power Distribution.
"The great thing about Georgia Power is they always supported the military. I never felt like I had to choose between my job and my military career," said Boatwright, who is a member of the Military Veterans in Power (MVP) affinity group and the Georgia Power Customer Service Organization (Veteran Affairs Chair member), Jefferson Street branch.
The 20-year veteran, who will be retiring from the military in a few months, recently capped off his career with a second Navy Achievement Medal - this time for his superior leadership skills. As chief petty officer, Boatwright is responsible for the training and development of 15 sailors, six of whom were able to advance in pay grade. He's also responsible for training and developing junior officers as well as mentoring, training and developing junior enlisted sailors.
"We did a get-to-know-you session here at Georgia Power recently, and we were asked what kept us up at night. As chief petty officer, one of my responsibilities is assisting our chain of Command with identifying the young men and women in the unit who will be sent to the war. Often times, we get plenty of volunteers; however, sometimes we have to pick the names of the men and women that have to go to war, so I think about that a lot," said Boatwright, who encourages his men and women through countless e-mails, late-night phone calls and care packages.In uniform or out, Boatwright believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success.
"My mother and father always taught me to strive to be the best at whatever job I decided to do and to always treat people the way that I would want to be treated," he said.