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If there's something weird and it don't look good; Who ya gonna call? 
Feature News Story 
Spc. Rian Reardon, 26th Signal Company, Signal System Support Specialist and another IT Specialist 
MILFORD, Mass. – Spc. Rian Reardon, 26th Signal Company, Signal System Support Specialist and another IT Specialist working at the Helpdesk, answers e-mails from Joint Force Headquarters to ensure every day operations run smoothly.  “In high school, I went to a tech school and I started building and repairing computers there, everything else has just been hands on experience,” Reardon said. Reardon is a self-taught IT specialist with hands on experience dating back to high school.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jeremiah J. Clark, Massachusetts National Guard)
By Army Sgt. Jeremiah J. Clark, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs  

MILFORD,
Mass. Who do you call when something doesn’t work? When you’re computer stops working or your Outlook doesn’t want to connect?  The Helpdesk has always been there to assist you when you needed it.

Working at the Helpdesk encompasses numerous things such as taking helpdesk tickets and assigning them accordingly, grabbing them in order and completing the request, said Sgt. 1st Class Breyda Pereyra, IT Specialist, Joint Force Headquarters, here.

Pereyra also checks the help desk mail box for help tickets.

“We remotely enter into machines to resolve any issues the user might have.  We always take calls in case a user is locked out of their system.  If there is ever an area that is down and doesn’t have network connectivity, they can’t use the automated helpdesk web application so they have to contact us,” said Pereyra, who is attached to the 125th Quartermaster Company as a Senior Food Service Manager during drill weekends.

Pereyra started in the IT department on Active Duty orders, which has sprouted into a full-time career.

“Everything that I’ve learned has been on the job and I’ve done a couple of different computer training classes to get my level up to where it is now,” said Pereyra.

“Overt ime different people in the department become efficient at different things. “We all have our own little niche that we’re stronger in,” said Pereyra. “I’ve gotten pretty good at trouble shooting and resolving issues with [Microsoft] Outlook; like the calendars and different little problems that might arise with outlook in general.”

Furthermore, Pereyra has become efficient at getting a lot of the web based programs and sites that people use working properly.

Sometimes, users should  better understand some of the issues we call the Helpdesk with a little better knowledge of the issue.

“The simplest thing by far would be the Approve It feature,” said Pereyra. “If someone is trying to digitally sign a form, a lot of time the configuration isn’t set to where it should be and it is as simple as going to the start menu, going in to the Approve it configuration and selecting the sign using the certificate on the smart card.”

The Helpdesk also works with hardware that is being used throughout the state.

The Helpdesk has been working on a couple of different projects recently one of which is the updated Blackberries.

“We started by looking at the BlackBerry server and seeing who had the 8830’s and how many there was,” said  Spc. Rian Reardon, 26th Signal Company, Signal System Support Specialist, and another of the IT Specialist working at the Helpdesk.  “When we started the project there was about 93 and then we started sending out e-mails because a couple people on the list were retired.”

Reardon is a self-taught IT specialist with hands on experience dating back to high school.

“In high school, I went to a tech school and I started building and repairing computers there, everything else has just been hands on experience,” Reardon said.

 “From there we just scheduled swaps, ten a day,” said Reardon. “If you were bringing in your phone and didn’t show up by ten we would call because we had to delete you off the server and more or less kill the other device before it could be transferred.  Once you were deleted off the server no more e-mails would go to the device and once we called Verizon to get the number swapped over, that phone wouldn’t work at all.”

Blackberries are not the only hardware that the Helpdesk handles; they also fix everything that pertains to computers.

“If you break it, I fix it,” said Staff Sgt. Leblanc, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.

Leblanc has worked in the IT department for over ten years, starting out on Fort Devens when they initially transferred from radios to computers.

“I started working on computers for the Guard when it was at Devens and taught myself mostly everything, but I have been to a few schools that have increased my knowledge of other areas, other than hardware, like networks and security,” said Leblanc.

“We do everything from reloading software and drivers to replacing hard drives, power supplies and CD drives,” said Leblanc. “I’ve actually repaired motherboards and swapped out LCD screens.”

“Basically if it belongs in a laptop or a computer system I’ve replaced it,” said Leblanc.

Furthermore, Leblanc helps handle the migration of operating systems, like the migration from Windows XP to Windows Vista. 

“Eventually we’ll migrate to Windows 7, but were still in the walk stages of that,” said Leblanc.  

In the history of the United States military, one of the most important missions is keeping units communications open and the people that perform that mission for the Massachusetts National Guard are a testament to that lineage.

1/19/2012