Joining Forces: Congratulations to our First Graduate


Andrew Marsh is a First Lieutenant  in the United States Marine Corps. From January 2012 to January 2013, he was deployed to Camp Tombstone in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He served as an Afghan National Army (ANA) Advisor tasked with assisting the Afghan Army communications section in enabling tactical communication for 16,000 soldiers throughout a 39,000 sq/mi area. 

After 4-years of service, Andrew is now transitioning from the military life into the civilian world. To build off of his military experience, Andrew began getting technically certified. He is the first candidate to complete the NetApp Certified Storage Associate (NCSA) training and successfully pass the exam.  


  • Current Location- Camp Lejeune, NC.
  • Where are you from originally? Raised in Mabelvale, AR and born in Sacramento, CA.
  • Brief Description of your time in the military- In January 2009 I joined the Marines, completed all officer/technical training and was assigned to 8th Communications Battalion, a unit full of about 1200 Marine Corps communicators as a Platoon Commander.
  • What inspired you to start a career in IT? I received a Computer Science Bachelor’s degree, which indirectly influenced my choice to pursue communications in the Marines. IT is so vast— if you aren’t excited about a particular area you can always find other areas of interest. I’ve had my break from IT, now I’m full of energy and an appreciation for learning like never before. 


How did you get started in the Joining Forces program with NetApp?

After researching the job market, I realized I had a lot to learn in a short period of time in order to successfully transition into civilian IT.  On May 31st as I finished reading my inbox before leaving for work, I received an email introducing the White House IT initiative scholarship.  The more I read, the more I realized that this program was designed for my exact situation, but the deadline to apply was May 31st.  

I couldn’t pass up on an opportunity like this, so I filled out the application right then and there and hit send.  The next day I got an email which said, “Congratulations, you’re in the program!” I replied “This is great!  What exactly does that mean?” (I was so blindsided to hear back so quickly).

I could now look through a catalog of courses and select up to three to enroll at no cost to me. I immediately scanned the list for familiar names and saw NetApp.  After hearing the name so many times in the past, I had already decided that any training I could take involving NetApp I wanted to sign up for.  

How was the content in the NCSA certification and the process leading up to you getting certified?

The web-based training and the self-take narrative classes with frequent review questions was perfect for my style of learning (I was homeschooled from K-12 so I know all about “self-study”). You are able to watch each course as many times as you want, so I set aside two weeks and studied literally every spare minute I was not working.  Exactly two weeks later I took the test and passed!

I immediately emailed Mark Conway from NetApp and Liz Davis from Global Knowledge to thank both of them for making all of this possible.  Mark replied that I was the first to pass the test, though NOT the first to take it, and I was shocked.  I could not believe that Mark had been so encouraging that I take the test as soon as possible if people were failing!  But obviously his gut feeling was right about me, I was ready.

What is your ideal job and goals as you are discharged?

NetApp is hands down my #1 choice. Based on what current and previous employees say about NetApp’s culture, core values and job satisfaction, it sounds exactly like the type of organization in which I will thrive.  On top of how highly NetApp is praised by employees, the relevance and future of technology in what NetApp is doing is amazing and has no bounds.  I would be proud to be a part of NetApp.


For more information about the Joining Forces program please visit: The NetApp NCSA details can be found under the Certification tab – in the Network and Computer Systems Administrator job/training section.


Congratulations Mr. Andrew.

coon Netapp Alumni

Congrats Andrew. With initiative like that, you'll go far. Sign up for linkedin ASAP.