We’d like to introduce you to Brett Rosenberg, Bloomfire Account Executive as part of our employee spotlight series. Brett spent a decade in the military and private contracting service before becoming a civilian and working in software sales. We took his photo on the rooftop deck at SkyLife, his downtown Austin apartment building on Rainey Street.
What is your title at Bloomfire and how does that translate to what you actually do all day?
My main job is finding ways Bloomfire can solve a business problem for a potential customer.
What hobby do you most enjoy and why?
I’m a kid at heart with any activity. I love basketball, yoga, martial arts, and dancing like a fool. You could seriously tell me to go outside and play and don’t come back until the streetlights are on and I’d be good with it. Is that an available position at Bloomfire?
What is your most treasured possession?
I can’t pick just one! They include:
My Hog’s (Hunter of Gunmen) Tooth. This is the lead tip of a 7.62 bullet hanging from a string that is given to a Marine Corps Sniper School graduate. It’s ceremoniously placed around your neck followed by a hard punch to imprint the bullet on your chest before going out and getting drunk with your instructor. Not a lot of nurturing going on the Corps!
A photo of me boxing in one of Saddam’s bombed out palaces in Baghdad. I was working on a protection detail in Baghdad for a state department sanctioned contract with a private firm. I used to meet up with buddies I was in the Marines with who were doing the same type of work with different companies. One such meeting took place at Camp Liberty where we decided to do a boxing workout in a boxing ring the Army had brought into one of the presidential palaces that was bombed during the beginning of the war. It was such a unique setting, with two of my closest friends, and the framed picture captures this time in my life perfectly.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Fatherhood doesn’t end but I’m proud of seeing my son growing into a respectful human being. I put in a lot of work to make him understand the world does not revolve around any individual. He’s a great kid and illustrates an understanding of that concept at a young age. I like to believe I had everything to do that but I’ll give a small shout out to his mom as well ; )
What is an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?
When I was 19 I was in a hip-hop group called the Thoroughbreds. So sad I didn’t have the right agent or I would have changed the landscape of hip-hop for sure!
Tell us about your military service and your experience working abroad.
Here we go! I usually get stuck in a corner at a party talking about my military service with a curious civilian and now I have a forum! I joined the Marines at 22 and excelled but hated it. I actually considered many different ways to exit early. Thankfully I noticed a group of men walking around who seemed above all things that were causing me to hate the Marines at the time. They had longer hair, operated on big boy rules, and had a confidence about them I hadn’t seen in the infantry battalion I was a part of at the time. I learned they were snipers.
The tryout consisted of a physically and mentally grueling 36-hour test. The fun part was realizing once you reach a certain level of complete exhaustion but have to keep moving everything becomes hilarious. Toward the end of the event we were coming out of the woods feeling like we had been hit by a truck while carrying a 120 pound ruck sack on our backs. We were passing all the Marines who were conducting their morning fitness in the battalion area. We had about five more miles to go and I was walking step by step next to another candidate. There were cars parked along side the road and all of sudden his knees buckled a bit and it sent him flying into one of the cars, which set off the alarm system. He recovered and this sent us into fits of maniacal laughter – making us look like tough guys having an easy time with the misery.
I made the cut and went on to earn a spot on the Sniper School roster, then earned the coveted title of Marine Sniper. At any time there are only a few hundred snipers operating in the Marine Corps. Out of 10 years of military and private contracting service I spent about three of those years in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve worked and trained with people from around the world.
The cross-cultural experience was amazing – once you’ve taught a class to a group of Nepalese and Afghanis who don’t speak a lick of English you realize that you can communicate effectively with anyone. A valued lesson I learned is that good people are all the same. Their agenda is not self-serving. Most want to work hard at what they do to ensure they can bring food and opportunity back to their families.
When it comes to combat arms, you’re an old man once you reach thirty. I ended my career following a back injury with honorable discharges from the Marine Corps, Army Guard, and Air Force Reserves. I may have a mid life crisis and join the Navy one day just to round it out 😉
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
I used to serenade girls in junior high with the Richard Marx song “Right Here Waiting.”