Employee Spotlight – Murray Hess, Program Manager

Representing Knight Federal’s Hampton Roads area, Murray Hess manages 40 personnel on the Joint Staff J7 task order, Joint Knowledge Online (JKO), Joint Technical Synthetic Environment (JTSE), and Naval Warfare Development Center (NWDC). He provides local leadership and oversight on ancillary contracts, including timesheets, assigning personnel to projects (i.e. building a network of computers to support an exercise), and any other administrative needs that arise.

Hess also supervises technical planning for the NORTHCOM, STRATCOM, EUCOM, TRANSCOM, SOUTHCOM and Joint Staff training events, is developing the C2 and network architectures, and assists with selecting the appropriate models and simulations. He creates and oversees manpower projections and watchbills for each exercise while maintaining visibility over the budget.

Hess previously worked on the Joint Forces Command support for TRW and then Northrop Grumman. He served as a Joint Training Confederation manager where he planned the modeling and simulation support for COCOM events and mission rehearsal exercises (MRXs) for units deploying to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan. Hess was later appointed Technical Coordinator and then promoted to manager within the NGTS system.
He is especially proud of his work and leadership in the Knight Federal Purple Knight Initiative where he supervises the training of three billets (two on the J7 support team and one on JTSE). Hess designs year-long curriculums which allow participants to develop specialized skill sets to enhance their employability. The first two graduates of the program secured viable employment as a scenario designer on the J7 support team and an acquisition specialist in Patuxent River.

“It’s been a real pleasure to work for Knight Federal,” says Hess. “One of the best facets of a small company is the lack of bureaucracy that has to be navigated for a decision. Chris Baeten told me ‘run your shop and call if you need help’ and the entire team in Orlando has been great about supporting our initiatives and resolving problems. We have some terrific people on the team here as well as the best back office operation that I’ve seen in 20 years.”

Hess graduated from the University of Texas and is a retired Naval officer. In his spare time, he enjoys working on his 69 acres of beautiful farm property and taking care of his three horses.