University of Pennsylvania

Veterans Upward Bound

Alumni Profiles

ETA Military Liaison Appointed to Serve NATO

ETA International is proud to announce that one of our certified members, Lieutenant John D. MacLean III, CET, recently received a prestigious appointment to serve the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Greencastle, IN (PRWEB) November 11, 2014

"John is an active voice for ETA and has served the association in various positions...We are pleased that he now will be holding a NATO spot in what is the first for an ETA member."

Lieutenant MacLean, US Navy Reserve and US Department of Homeland Security, was recently appointed as one of five US Government nominees to NATO. He will serve as a Civilian Emergency Communications Expert and a member of NATO's multi-national Rapid Response Teams that mobilize and deploy to disasters or crisis incidents in NATO member nations on the European Continent.

He will also act as a technical adviser and subject matter expert on Emergency Communications related topics for NATO as needed. He is expected to train with other NATO member country civilian experts in Brussels Belgium in order to function as part of the multi-national Rapid Response Teams.

"John is an active voice for ETA International and has served the association in various positions. He is also a former recipient of the association's top award, Technician of the Year, in 2004. We are pleased that he now will be holding a NATO spot in what is the first for an ETA member. We have come to expect this type of excellence from John, as he carries excellence as his every day mantra," said ETA President Teresa Maher, CSS.

Lieutenant MacLean was selected to serve NATO by virtue of his 25 years of experience in Military / Civilian Telecommunications / Information Technology & Emergency Management experience as well as his experience in NATO Communications exercises as a commissioned Naval Officer in the reserves.

He was nominated by the US Department of Homeland Security and accepted by the committee on civilian experts that assist NATO during disasters and provide advisory services as subject matter experts in the October 2014 committee meeting in Brussels.

Maher said, "With thousands of prestigious ETA technical members, John has consistently upheld the high standards of the organization, attained multiple ETA certifications in Wireless Communications, Information Technology and new ETA certifications as they develop, including the new General Communications Technician."

Lieutenant MacLean is ETA International's Military Liaison and has been nominated to serve on the ETA Board of Directors as Communications Division Chair with membership voting to conclude in December.


(excerpted from TRiO Achiever personal statement by John MacLean)

            The TRiO Programs have made the most significant impact of any program or educational opportunity in my personal, academic and professional life.  I was fortunate enough to participate in two TRiO programs starting in 2005.  I applied to and successfully was given a seat in the January 2005 class of the TRiO Veterans Upward Bound Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and later with the Student Support Services (SSS) Program at Peirce College until the Spring of 2008.  In each case I developed a deep personal relationship with the staff and directors of each of those programs as I progressed through my pre-college and undergraduate programs.  When I applied to VUB, I was completely unaware of where it would lead me.  I hoped that someday, someway, my participation in the program would pull back the veil of ignorance I had about finding a path to college after serving my country in the military after high school instead of choosing to attend college. 

            During the times that I was attending VUB at Penn and SSS at Peirce, I worked for the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.  Although my position was an IT/ Communications technical position, I volunteered to be an Emergency First Responder.  Between 2005 and 2008, I responded to dozens of multi-alarm fires, floods, natural gas explosions, civil unrest, and performed controlled evacuations of citizens at risk in these incidents.   Being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, made it difficult to be a night student; however, with a little bit of luck and a lot less sleep, I was able to be an exemplary student in VUB and also at Peirce where I earned my undergraduate degree in Information Technology, graduating with high honors from both programs.

            Having worked in Emergency Management for 10 years, starting 10 months before September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, I was employed in the profession of Homeland Security before the term was invented.  After finishing my undergraduate degree, I wanted to expand my knowledge about Homeland Security Policy and Strategy as it related to protecting the nation from international and domestic terrorism, so I applied for a very selective graduate degree program at the United States Naval Postgraduate School at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.  Through my confidence and experience derived from participating in TRiO programs, I applied and was accepted to the 2 year Master's Program that accepts 27 students twice year out of thousands of applicants.

            I wanted to be able to take my new knowledge and experience to other parts of the country, so I then applied for a position with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), working as the Disaster Emergency Communications Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  I also facilitated the Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group, a collaborative forum that developed solutions for communications issues by working with state and local officials.   During my time with FEMA, I was deployed to coordinate rescue operations in Fargo, North Dakota.  I was also deployed to Washington, D.C., to be the Communications Unit Leader for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.

            From skills learned and experiences gained in both TRiO programs, combined with the wealth of knowledge and experience gained in both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs that TRiO has led me to, I have been able to apply this knowledge directly to protecting the citizens of this nation defensively on the home front through my professional activities in Homeland Security and, if called to do so, offensively through serving as a member of the military as a Naval Reserve Officer.

            I am the product of a blue collar family where my father was a letter carrier for the Postal Service.  Fortunately, he was able to see his son realize his father's dream of working the technology field, while helping to protect his community and nation.  I did not enroll in college for the first time until the age of 36.  I was a first generation college student, and VUB helped me to chart a path to my future.  For that I am forever in debt to the TRiO programs, a debt that I will attempt to repay by a lifetime of public service to this great country.