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Glascock, right, assuming command of public works organization in Nevada.

Not everyone finds their calling, much less the opportunity to pursue it. For Jay Glascock, Director of the Office of Site Operations (OSO) at the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management’s (LM) Westminster Operations Center, it happened twice.

“I grew up in Colorado and went to the Air Force Academy, then entered the military in that fashion,” Glascock said. He describes the two decades of military career that followed as more of an upbringing than a job.

“When you are growing up in the military and leading these public works organizations, you’re protecting human health in any environment. That’s the basic foundation of the job,” he said.

As a civil engineer, that foundation was often literal. He worked in communities around the world taking care of “roads and commodes,” learning quickly what it takes to keep installations running in top condition.

“These Air Force bases are like small cities. They're twice the size of Fort Collins, Colorado, and you have to take care of all the (infrastructure),” he said.

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Glascock, third from right, pictured with the joint engineer staff at the Pentagon.

He found the work fascinating. When he retired from the military in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw major infrastructure projects globally and in key regions for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, he was looking for a change. After 24 years had passed, Glascock wanted something outside of the military complex. He wanted something new and challenging. That’s when his second act beckoned. The DOE was looking for people with his skillset.

“They were struggling from a project management perspective and that’s what my background is —construction, civil engineering, and project management. They wanted some help there and I came into the Department of Energy and the Office of Engineering and Construction Management and flourished,” he said.

Everything he thought he knew about the DOE was about to change.

“It was an eye opener because there were things I just didn't know. Even working in Department of Defense. I didn't know that there was such a tight relationship between Department of Defense and Department of Energy,” he said.

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Glascock, right, receiving an update from the site manager at Fernald Preserve, Ohio.

The differences, he notes, are also abundant. While working on Air Force installations, Glascock was responsible for fully focusing on that one site and the needs of the people there. At the DOE, he is responsible for exponentially more, all with vastly different site profiles, staff and surrounding communities. Even the terrain varies, with sites scattered from the beaches of Puerto Rico and the suburbs of Cincinnati to the mountains of New York and desert communities in Western states.

“In Legacy Management, you have one hundred plus sites and the communities are all different, they're all different states. They're all differing local governments and state governments, all differing regulators. And so, in Department of Defense, I was really focused on one set or one group of stakeholders. And here I've got to juggle.”

Among his responsibilities at DOE, Glascock champions major repair and maintenance projects, ensuring environmental remedies are protected after site cleanups. One of his strengths is being able to communicate effectively with different stakeholders with an abundance of self-awareness.

“You're bringing facts, you're bringing data and trends, and you’re bringing science and engineering to the table,” he said. “But sometimes when you're negotiating or engaging, you have to remember that you're dealing with people, you're dealing with community perspectives.” Those perspectives are their realities.

He admits it’s a balancing act, but one that keeps his job interesting.

“It doesn't get stale,” he said. “They're different regulators in different states with different beliefs. They approach problems differently. That's what keeps the job fresh.”

As of three years ago, that job has put him right back where he started — Colorado.

“When you’re living in the place you love, enjoying the work you're doing and the people that you’re doing it with, that’s the trifecta,” he said.