Former U.S. Marine discusses his new cybersecurity role.

“My life has been guided by the Marine motto, “Semper Fidelis” - always faithful, reflecting my dedication to duty and meritocracy.”Amyn Porbanderwala 

Born in India, Amyn Porbanderwala came to Houston in 1998. His journey as an immigrant family began with the dual responsibility of supporting his family and pursuing his studies. From the age of 17, he worked 60 hours a week while attending school full-time, shouldering his father’s responsibilities. This allowed him to ensure that his mother and sister were supported while his father managed the passing of his older siblings in India and provided assistance to their extended family.

Early on, Amyn realized that his purpose and way of life didn't align with the conventional norms of his peer groups. Motivated by an internal compass and unwavering conviction, inspired by his daily prayers, he envisioned serving his country as his true calling.

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Amyn Porbanderwala
Amyn Porbanderwala

Amyn's career path was far from linear, much like many seasoned professionals. Initially, he didn't have the Marine Corps in mind when starting his career. As a child, his dream was to become an Air Force pilot. However, during his time at Air Force ROTC at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he earned a BBA in Finance, he experienced a sense of disconnect. It was only when he met a Marine and a Korean veteran in Denver, at the age of 26, that he decided to enlist in the US Marine Corps. With only 0.07 percent of the population serving as active or reservist, this group of soldiers forms a small but close-knit community.

Throughout his tenure in the Marine Corps, Amyn served in various capacities as a Cyber Network Operator & Data Systems Specialist. His experience ranged from working in combat logistics and infantry battalions to civil affairs groups, and a surgical company within a medical battalion. He participated in NATO exercises in the Baltic Seas and executed beach assaults using amphibious assault vehicles in Germany and Poland.

Seven years ago, Amyn transitioned into a consultancy role at the Department of Defense while remaining a reservist, staying true to his commitment to serve. In recent years, he has worked as a project manager for the Department of the Navy and currently serves as a management consultant at NavAide in San Diego, a company that provides navigational aids for vessels.

When asked about a career in the U.S. Marines for others, he responds, "One crucial skill to develop is mental resilience. Especially in the early stages of one's career, prioritize honing your soft skills. The ability to adapt and evolve in the face of adversity, to bend without breaking, is what propels you forward in service. It is this adaptability that has profoundly shaped my service to the country and my fellow service members."

Regarding life in the Marine Corps, Amyn acknowledges the demanding physical training and discipline instilled in every soldier. He remarks, "The life of a Marine is not easy. Despite the hardships, the bonds I formed in service are stronger than any others, surpassing even those of my own blood."

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Marines from 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, volunteering at the grand opening of the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston.
Marines from 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, volunteering at the grand opening of the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston.

One sentiment that Amyn holds dear is the unparalleled love for our uniformed service members. He says, "What I cherish most is the unwavering camaraderie and the knowledge that I have a global family always ready to stand by my side."

The role of faith has been extremely important in Amyn’s life, one that kept him grounded  during his service. “Faith has guided my diverse familial connections, my ex-wife being an Ismaili from Pakistan, my sister's husband a Christian from India, and my current wife a devout Catholic from Latin America. These interfaith relationships inspired him to seek out spiritual texts and philosophies from the Bible and Qur’an, to Taoism and Buddhism. He reflects, “In both life and the military, my faith has been an invaluable ally, particularly when confronted with life-or-death situations.”

Amyn’s interest in history, especially that of the Ismaili community, intertwines with this exploration. There's a tattoo on his arm, '2:82', a nod to Sura 2 Ayat 82, “...serving as a constant reminder that 'those who believe and do righteous deeds are the people of the Garden, and therein shall they abide forever.' This deeply personal belief underscores my service to others,” he remarks.

Amyn lives in Maryland and while not engaged in his consulting profession, he finds time to enjoy his hobbies of watching Formula 1 races, reading books, and collecting watches.