Kimberly, Oscar's "bestie," left, Genive Joe Montero, age 9, and Petty Officer Oscar J. Montero Jr.
April 17, 2017 — Originally from El Paso, Texas, Oscar J. Montero Jr. now is a member of the Administrative Information Technology Services team supporting the North Texas Mean Green Athletic Center. Devoting himself to family, work and school, Oscar takes time to follow his daughter's athletic pursuits, work toward graduation next fall with a master's degree in IT project management, and exercise for physical fitness. He also enjoys the outdoors – camping and fishing for catfish and largemouth bass.
Coming from Golden Eagles territory at the American Military University where he earned an associate's degree in computer applications and a bachelor's degree in information technology while serving in the U.S. Navy, Oscar now provides desktop, deployment and special projects support for the UNT Athletic Center. With more than 160 employees in the department and about 280 active machines, Oscar helped to implement an 85-terminal point-of-sale system that keeps his team busy on UNT game days ensuring smooth game-day production and high customer satisfaction, he said.
On game day, he said, we make our rounds with every department: police operations, media, statistics, radio, video production, concessions, ticket office, etc., to make sure all their systems are up and running. "If a problem exists, we troubleshoot the issue until it is corrected. For the most part, we do not really run into many issues due to early testing and detection conducted prior to each game day."
He always has liked technology, Oscar said, and as U.S. Navy aviation electronics technician, he worked on the computer systems of the SH-60F and HH-60H, Seahawk or Rescue Hawk helicopters. Oscar also was assigned to the Navy Recruiting District in Dallas and worked for the IT department there, which supported all the recruiting stations and personnel in North Texas and Oklahoma.
Oscar credits working with UNT's Matthew Fenton, IT manager, UNT Athletics Center, and other supportive employees within Administrative IT Services for his smooth transition from military life.
"I enlisted in the Navy a day before my daughter was born and left for Navy Boot Camp at the age of 20," he said. Transferred to the Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, Fla., Oscar completed his technical training as an aviation electronics technician and was later assigned to the Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron, HS-11, Dragon Slayers, out of the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville, Fla. He earned the aviation and surface warfare specialist designations. Oscar embarked and trained on four supercarriers: USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS George H. W. Bush, USS Harry S. Truman, and USS Carl Vinson, and deployed on the USS Enterprise, pictured left. Awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal three times for professional and leadership achievement, Oscar also earned the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal before receiving an honorable discharge. He also earned the expert pistol marksmanship ribbon.
Benchmarks: What would you tell an incoming freshman who is thinking about a career in IT?
Oscar: A combination of education and work experience is the key to success in IT. It is vital for someone who is wanting go into the IT field to become involved in the field as early as possible, whether by joining computer science-related programs, clubs or getting a part-time job working in IT as a student. The combination of IT experience and your education will take you a long way.
"Working at UNT, I have the privilege of working with some great people. Working with Matt Fenton has been a huge help for a transitioning sailor," he said. "He is a perfect example of a great leader. Together we support a great group of people, all of whom have leaderships skills that directly impact student-athlete success."
Oscar also helps to plan for and implement new software and other technology installations. He works every home football game and is on call for any after-hour events. Daily operations include troubleshooting end-user issues, preparing for future games and events, maintaining servers, and most importantly, providing the best customer service to the Mean Green Athletic Center staff and vendors, he said.
"I love the energy that the Mean Green family has. I love seeing the hard work of my colleagues in the Athletic Department paying off and coming together," he said.
Benchmarks: What would you tell a new graduate in IT?
Oscar: If you have the experience and the education, a career in the IT field will come with ease. Continue your education and continue to make yourself marketable by enrolling in a graduate or certification program; you will promote yourself in this forever growing, evolving world of IT.
Oscar's own energy and rhythm might be influenced by what he's hearing through Pandora, the app he uses the most, he said. "I listen to all kinds of music; 'just depends on what I am doing. Morning usually consists of Spanish-language and Christian radio stations. Work-out music is usually rock or rap – anything that is motivating and has a good beat. My favorite band right now is "Five Finger Death Punch," one of my favorites on Pandora," he said. One of the most successful groove metal bands of the 2010s, "Five Finger Death Punch" has been a staple of the Billboard charts since the band's formation in 2005. "Country music, as well as many other types of music are randomly played throughout the week, except for Sunday. Sunday is my oldies day!" The 1967 hit "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison is Oscar's favorite oldie, he said. His wife Kimberly, a real estate property manager, whom he calls his "bestie," may have something to do with that.
"Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
Just like that
Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
La dee dah"