SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Employees, family and friends celebrated the 24-year legacy of care and compassion for fellow service members honed by Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Pedro S. Montañez in his retirement ceremony at the Bentwood Country Club, Sept. 25.
A native of Manatí, Puerto Rico, Montañez was born in 1967 and graduated from high school in 1985, went on to college and graduated with a regional Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. While in college, he worked for American Airlines/American Eagle. While working as the district manager for Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and South America for ground equipment, he enlisted in the United States Air National Guard in September 1996 as a munitions technician, and later retrained as a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technician.
Montañez continued his military career in 2001 when converted to active duty under the Coronet Oak program. This meant changing to his third Air Force occupational specialty–C-130 crew chief.
In December o2003, he made the leap from Air Force to Navy as a construction mechanic. Having maintained his employment with American Eagle, they offered him an early retirement, which he accepted. He subsequently reported to Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC), Port Hueneme, California, for Construction Mechanic (CM) “A” School.
In May of 2004, Montañez reported to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, Port Hueneme, California, for a four-year tour as a CM. At NMCB 3, he earned his Enlisted Seabee Combat Warfare designation and completed four deployments to Iraq/Kuwait, Afghanistan/Spain, Guam, and Okinawa.
In June of 2008, he cross-rated from CM to cryptologic technician collection (CTR) and reported to Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC), Pensacola for CTR “A” School.
Montañez then reported to Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, to Navy Information Operation Command (NIOC) Texas for a three-year tour at the direct support submarine-surface shop. While in Lackland, he advanced to first class petty officer and achieved the command’s highest score on the Spanish Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test, and one of the highest scores possible for Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). In order to best utilize his unique skillset, he was assigned to Camp Bullis, Texa,s as the leading petty officer for the south signal analysis lab.
While assigned to the USS Newport News (SSN 750) in July 2009, Montañez qualified as a Submarine Warfare Specialist and worked out-of-rate as a language analyst for Spanish and Portuguese collections.
In March 2012, he reported to Goodfellow AFB, Texas, for analyst and reporting School before reporting to the Cryptologic Support Group (CSG) at the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) for a three-year tour. While assigned to the CSG, Montañez served as divisional and departmental leading petty officer. He was awarded the Navy League of the United Sates Award of Excellence, the USTRANSCOM Color Guard Member of the Year award, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for his extraordinary community service.
Montañez reported to what is now Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey Det. at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, in July 2005, where he served as an analysis and reporting instructor until his retirement, Sept. 25. Among other collateral duties, he also served as the Det.’s command pay and personnel administrator.
Montañez’s awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and various campaign and service awards.
At the retirement ceremony, Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Micah Epley described a typical day at Goodfellow for Montañez.
“Wake up around 4, go PT with some Sailors,” shared Epley. “Go to work, take care of Sailors, take lunch home, come back to work, take care of Sailors, go PT with some more Sailors, go back to work, work until its dark. Go home, keep up a second job, go to college, and spend time with family.”
Epley also shared various quotes that Montañez’s past leaders had sent him, each illustrating Montañez’s selfless service over a 24-year career.
“I missed birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, anniversaries and so much more, but my family has been with me and supported me my entire career,” said Montañez. “I am happy to have made the decision to retire and be there with them more.”
Montañez is married with three adult children (38, 31, and 29) and two grandchildren (18 and 11) who reside with him in San Angelo, Texas, since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, September 2017.
He also volunteers as the English Second Language (ESL) Parent Representative for San Angelo Central High School, where he helps parents that do not speak English to understand the process and level of proficiency their children are acquiring as part of the ESL program.
IWTC Monterey Det. Goodfellow is aligned under IWTC Monterey. As part of the CIWT domain, they provide a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.