Galvan started working at UCLA as a security officer in 1996; two years later he joined the Naval Reserves. A former Navy Aviation Structure Mechanic who served on two Aircraft Carriers (USS Ranger & USS Kitty Hawk), Galvan is now a Master of Arms First Class Petty Officer in the Naval Reserves who just finished a six-month deployment in Kuwait in November.
What does your job at SMUCLA entail? I am the supervisor in the Security Department and am in charge of a shift of seven people. I have worked at UCLA since 1996.
How does your work as a Naval Reservist impact your job at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica? UCLA has been very supportive of my work in the Reserves and I've never had an issue with any of my managers denying me the opportunity to do something military-related. I'm very fortunate that UCLA gives military personnel up to 30 days of pay for military time every year. Over the years, I've taken short leaves of absence to go to school to become an Anti-Terrorist Training Instructor for military police and an Anti-Terrorism Specialist. I've always tried to incorporate that training to better enhance the hospital's ability to respond to the community's needs.
I believe that as a whole, our country has sort of forgotten our men and women overseas. I think people have become accustomed to war so that it doesn't have the impact it once did. But I am proud that UCLA has been a real leader in supporting our military personnel, with its flexible policies toward employees who want to serve and with projects like Operation Mend that provide free plastic surgery and other medical services to injured military people.
How has that training improved your work as a security officer? I've learned a lot about how to be a better incident commander for emergency response and how to coordinate staff to eliminate whatever safety hazards are present. My anti-terrorism training taught me how to analyze an area and make the best suggestions to protect it from a terrorist attack or any kind of disaster. I've gotten a better understanding of the destructive capabilities that are out there and have used that knowledge to give the hospital a better sense of what could happen and how it could affect the city overall.
What were you doing in Kuwait? I'm a military police officer and I was working as a supervisor for the night shift at Camp Buehring. As a military police officer, we have the distinct honor of protecting those who protect our freedom. I was on a base that is utilized for forward deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
What was it like serving in Kuwait? The environment is very different. It's the middle of the desert and, at times, the temperatures were peaking at 137 degrees. It's something you have to get adjusted to. You really have to be exposed to the elements and living conditions there to truly understand the sacrifices people make there on a daily basis.
What did you miss about home when you were in Kuwait? I missed being with my beautiful wife, Vickie Galvan, who also works at UCLA in Patient Affairs, and my children, grandchildren and extended family.
What are your other hobbies or interests? Running has become a huge hobby for me. The time away from the busy life gave me an opportunity to enhance my physical fitness and health. My other hobbies are playing golf and softball.