On October 13, 2021 the U.S. Navy commemorates its 246th Birthday. 

ManTech opened its doors in 1968 with a single contract with the U.S. Navy. More than 52 years later, we remain committed to supporting the Navy’s mission-critical operations and to strengthening its fleet capabilities and mission success.

Matt Tait, a Navy veteran and ManTech’s COO, holds his time as a sailor in high regard. Even as a child, Matt was no stranger to the military and the character it builds, as several of Matt’s family members had served in the Army and the Navy before he decided to follow in their footsteps. 

As a leader, he emphasizes the benefits of teamwork and the importance of building culturally competent teams that bring everyone to the table, united in their desire for mission success. And he credits much of that philosophy to his time in the Navy.

“The great thing about the Navy (and other services) is everyone is there for a higher purpose –to do the right thing and support our country.” – Matt Tait

We recently sat down with Matt Tait to ask him to reflect on how his time as a Naval officer influenced his growth as a leader.

Given the distinct differences in mission and capabilities among our Armed Forces, why did you join the U.S. Navy?

Matt Tait clean headshot
Matt Tait, US Navy veteran and ManTech COO

“I was recruited as a student-athlete by the Army, Navy, Air Force and a dozen other schools. When it actually came down to my decision to join the Naval Academy, however, what interested me the most were the many options to serve. I could explore what I wanted to do, and then figure it out definitively down the road.”

What was your most memorable moment while in the service?

“I was fortunate to be on a special assignment where we were tracking adversary submarines. We used  a unique way to locate and track them. It was rewarding to do that in a way that was unexpected. We found a submarine we’d been looking for, but did it  in a way that was unique. This ties to much of what we do at ManTech today – combining and applying existing technologies in new ways to solve difficult problems.”

How did military service influence you as a leader?

“The military taught me to recognize and focus on the 360-degree view of a person. It was never just about how were you doing at work – it was, ‘How’s your family, how’s their ecosystem?’ It reinforced for me that you can’t really be a leader unless you’re caring about the whole person.”

Why is the U.S. Navy so vital to National Security?

“I’ve always been a big supporter of power projection – physically being able to go anywhere in the world and bring the capabilities of a Navy carrier – which is a small patch of Americana – Is just so important to our National Security.”

Each year the Navy celebrates its birthday and heritage week with a central theme. This year’s 2021 theme is “Resilient and Ready,” which speaks directly to the Navy’s ability to fight a way or make one when solving challenges and always being ready to support critical missions such as a natural disaster or a global pandemic. 

“For the Navy to step in and fill a key void at the outbreak of the pandemic – that was just another critical way they served the country,” said Matt Tait. 

Nearly 50% of ManTech employees are veterans; we thank the entire veteran community and their families for their willingness to serve and sacrifice for freedom, at home and aboard.

“For myself, it was and has always been an honor and a privilege to serve our country and to serve in the United States Navy,” added Tait. 


To read and learn more from our military veterans or to join our ManTech team, visit https://www.mantech.com/careers/transitioning-military