November 2018 Veteran Spotlight: Ellen Schramm

Ellen Schramm, second from left,  former US Navy Cryptologic Technician Communications Operator
Ellen Schramm, second from left,
former US Navy Cryptologic Technician
Communications Operator

VMSI recognizes the contributions and sacrifices of our Veterans year-round and our passion for our service men and women is especially apparent in November around Veterans Day.

In recognition of one of our favorite holidays, VMSI is honoring Ellen Schramm for this month’s VetSpot!

  • Name:  Ellen Schramm
  • Rank: Cryptologic Technician Communications Operator, 3rd Class (E-4)
  • Branch:  United States Navy
  • Years of Service: 4
  • Medals:  Good Conduct Medal

Several of Ellen’s family members served in the armed forces and she’s the third generation to serve in the US Navy after her father and grandfather. Ellen chose the military to help stretch and acquire new skills, learn more about the world and start a new lifestyle.

Serving as a Cryptologic Technician Communications Operator, Ellen enjoyed travelling to several Asian countries, including Japan, Philippines, South Korea, and China. Throughout her years of service, Ellen appreciated the opportunity to meet people from the far corners of the world and learn about their lives and cultures.

Of the many countries Ellen visited while deployed, Japan was her favorite. She found the culture, architecture, history, food, and landscapes especially unique. Said Ellen, “one of my favorite places was the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) in a small rustic village by the name of Kamakura. Knowing that I was in a place from the 13th century that had been so beautifully preserved was awe-inspiring.” During one of her deployments to Japan, Ellen decided to climb Mt. Fuji. The earth under foot was like loose sand, making the hike to the summit an arduous one. The Japanese have a saying “a wise man will climb Mt. Fuji once; a fool will climb Mt. Fuji twice” and good luck is said to come to those who climb to the 12,389 ft. summit before sunrise. After a clear, moonlit night, Ellen was the only woman from her group to reach the peak before daybreak.  Ellen still has her walking stick from that day, which was branded at each way station, as a reminder of her determination and success in reaching the summit. In her words, “the sheer beauty of the soft rays turning to daylight, dancing off the five lakes, and opening up a new day was a spectacle to behold.” Completing the climb with close friends is an experience Ellen will always cherish.

Overall, Ellen developed numerous skills and thoroughly enjoyed her time serving the Navy; she recommends these tips for anyone transitioning into civilian life:

  • Establish a support system of people you trust and on whom you can really talk to and seek counsel.
  • Invest the resources to ensure your resume is as robust and efficient as it can be.  And if you don’t get a job after an interview, don’t be afraid to call them back and ask for feedback.
  • Even if it is something you’ve never done before, don’t be afraid to try something new.  You may find you’re a lot more resilient than you thought.

Thank you for your service, Ellen, and for sharing your story with the #VMSIFamily!