Jon stands in uniform with folded American flag. Before I finished high school, I knew I wanted to join the Marines. I felt I needed more discipline, more guidance, and more importantly, I wanted to be part of something bigger and better. I did not realize that I would be part of the Marines for 21 years. It was an amazing experience that included lots of hard work, adventure, travel, camaraderie, meeting my wife and building my family. It was, easily, one of the best decisions that I ever made.    

It was in the Marines, where I started using Cisco products – from troubleshooting network connectivity at the helpdesk to setting up a LAN for gaming parties! I supported operations from Okinawa, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines and Iraq – everywhere we went we utilized Cisco products to help our forces be successful in their missions. 

After my Marine Corps career, I landed a contractor position supporting Cisco. Not only did I meet all the prerequisites, the hiring manager had a son in the Marines, so we had an instant connection. I made it through the interviews and was on my way to supporting Cisco. A short while later, I transitioned to a full-time role within the company.  

Now, I am a High Touch Operations Manager on a team that provides high-level service to customers that requires more efficiency and maximum uptime. It is an often challenging, sometimes stressful role, that enables us to deliver some of the best support from Cisco across the globe.   

John posing with his fellow Marines.

The camaraderie on my team is like one I’ve experienced before, too – and it’s just one of the many ways I see my roles between the Marine Corps and Cisco echo each other. My team wants everyone to be successful and is always ready to assist each other – we have each other’s backs, always.

We needed that more than ever this year.

As 2020 began to play out, we saw our customers adjust to an environment that now required an entirely remote workforce, while their systems were stress-tested. It was clear that during this rapid ramp-up, more resources had to be allocated and configurations had to be adjusted.   

Our teams pulled together to help many of our customers solve each unique situation.  

To ensure we built in some “down time” to our day, the team would come together and bond over Webex calls where some showcased their musical talents or where we’d unwind during virtual happy hours.   

I was amazed to see how big Cisco as a company stepped-up during this time too. The donation of $225 million dollars to provide resources is astounding and makes me very proud to be part of this organization. Additional resources were also provided, like free use of WebEx, and delivering video-conferencing units to hospitals and healthcare providers. My team and I all discussed how great we felt of being part of this tremendous organization.  

John in uniform with family.

Cisco continually pushes its employees to give back to our communities, and they lead by examples. Now more than ever – I feel we need that. We all can do more. Building and strengthening our local and global communities is fantastic for everyone involved. 

I also love that at Cisco, I’m able to be a remote worker. While I was in the Marines – we worked in remote areas, but often that would take me away from my family. Now with Cisco, I can be in my home office or even setup my office at a beach rental if I have Internet access to conduct business – and spend additional time with my family.  

It’s been over six years since I started my journey with Cisco, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I always wanted to be a part of something bigger and better – and at Cisco, I am! 


Ready to join our team? Apply now. 


John Lewandowski

High Touch Operations Manager

Cisco Experience