Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Rose, USA (Ret.), says he wouldn’t change anything about his life, but his service in the military and techno-savvy contributions to AFCEA’s Tampa-St. Petersburg Pelican Chapter certainly have changed the lives of many others. From his 21 years in the Army Signal Corps—about half of which were spent supporting special operations forces—to a complete revamp of his chapter’s use of Web technologies, Col. Rose’s focus has not been on finding an easy way out but rather an easier way into accomplishing a mission.
In his professional life, the colonel aims at making the communications capabilities of multinational troops serving in Afghanistan as smooth as possible. ROSETech Solutions, the company he and his wife Deborah own, supports the Joint Interoperability Test Command’s Coalition and Interoperability Assurance Validation project. The group reviews and assesses systems and applications in the Afghan Mission Network to ensure interoperability among the 10 Troop Contributing Nations, or TCNs.
His involvement in AFCEA at the chapter level ranges from improving the usefulness of the Pelican Chapter’s website for all chapter members to mentoring individual Young AFCEANs to build the foundation for the chapter’s future. In 2006, when Col. Rose took responsibility for the chapter’s website, he started with a basic site. During the past five years, however, the colonel and his fellow chapter members have turned it into an integrated, dynamic website that not only supports all of the chapter’s functions—from luncheons to fundraising to education—but also integrates electronic credit card functions that handle more than $160,000 annually.
In addition, the upgrades have reduced the amount of time chapter leaders require to carry out their duties, in some cases by more than 90 percent, Col. Rose relates. “Our chapter is willing to share our techniques and ‘secrets’ with any other AFCEA chapter,” he adds.
The colonel’s chapter support also occurs at the very human level. As a “strong proponent” of increasing the depth of the chapter’s elected board members and chairpersons, he mentors Young AFCEANs to prepare them for leadership roles. “Our leadership element of volunteers is over 20, and nearly one-half of these volunteers is under the age of 40,” he relates. Not coincidentally, Col. Rose recently turned over his website responsibilities to a Young AFCEAN.
With four grandchildren on the way—including a set of twins—it’s hard to believe that Col. Rose still has time for his hobbies of cooking, fishing and gardening. But then again, time isn’t something he takes for granted. From 1986 to 1988, the colonel began battling Stage 4 lymphatic cancer while attaining his graduate degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. His cancer fight continued until 1990, and “all’s well after 21 years,” he notes.“There is NOTHING I would change, even the four grueling years of fighting cancer while on active duty. I say ‘nothing’ because I am so pleased with who I’ve turned out to be. I am a compilation of the events that have happened in my life, and so I would change nothing, nothing at all,” he shares.