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Military Officer Transitions to Entrepreneurship Serving the Military

Military Officer Transitions to Entrepreneurship Serving the Military

After graduating from Virginia State University with a Bachelors of Administration in Political Science, Von Washington joined the U.S. Army as an officer Air Defense Artillery Corp.  After serving 13 years in the military, he went to work with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company conducting development, planning and coordination for the Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THADD) missile defense system.

Washington gained valuable management and technical skills while serving as operations officer, company commander and operations research systems analyst and weapons system manager.  After working with Lockheed he decided to work as an independent consultant with the Department of Defense.  During this time he began to formulate his idea of starting his own small business.

In 2007 Washington formed Integrated Defense Applications, LLC doing business as IDA Technology.  IDA Technology is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business, specializing in program management and project analysis, systems evaluation and analysis, information technology services, weapons systems independent operational evaluation and analysis and other technical services.

He decided to pursue being certified into the SBA 8(a) program, a business development program that is aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in obtaining federal contract opportunities and entered the program in March 2010.  He also became certified as a service-disabled veteran owned business and these certifications help him to gain a competitive advantage for government contracting set-aside programs.

Washington is a dynamic leader who is taking his fast growing company forward with a clear focus on goals and objectives.  In 2010, He was able to quickly obtain two federal contracts and has grown his business to 54 employees.  Most recently, he obtained an SBA 8(a) contact for facilities maintenance at Fort Bliss Military Base and has grown the business to a total of 72 employees.    

Veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners.  Nine percent of small businesses are veteran-owned.  These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5 million individuals.  In the private sector workforce, veterans are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.

Von Washington and his wife Gayla have consistently provided their talent and finances to the support of marriage groups and family organizations.  IDA Technology continues to provide technical support services to the Armed Services YMCA.  He works closely in supporting minority-owned business as a board member of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the El Paso 8(a) Government Contractors Association.