Patrick O’Reilly on Building Trust

In order to be successful in any walk of life, Patrick O’Reilly believes cultivating trust is vitally important. Without trust, people are uncomfortable associating with you, hesitant to give you authority, and otherwise suspicious of you. Patrick O’Reilly has done well in his career at earning trust from leaders, peers, and friends.

Trust is the byproduct of honesty, integrity, and ethical actions. Patrick O’Reilly believes you cannot be fully trusted unless you display these three qualities on a consistent basis. He has found in his 34-year career in the United States Army that trust has been the most important factor. During his service, Patrick O’Reilly has served as director and program manager for various highly respected organizations, something that has earned him the reputation of being honest and ethical. In fact, Patrick O’Reilly has been trusted by the highest of opinions in American government. In 2008 Patrick O’Reilly was nominated to be the Director of the Missile Defense Agency by the President of the United States, and later confirmed by the United States Senate. That is why people listen when Patrick O’Reilly gives advice. His advice is backed by experience and results, something that makes his opinions valid.

Now how do you practically gain trust? Patrick O’Reilly believes it to be based in the little things. By proving your honesty, you are creating a foundation of integrity that will travel with you. Once your employers and peers see that you can be trusted with small tasks, they will begin to trust you with more important ones. Patrick O’Reilly believes that your integrity must be protected at all costs though, and any slip- up can cost you dearly. Do not let down your guard at any moment, as a small shortcut up front can cost you your reputation in the end.


Patrick O’Reilly on Balancing Work and Family Life

When it comes to successfully balancing multiple responsibilities, Patrick O’Reilly is an expert. As a career military man with a family, he has learned what it takes to maintain a healthy balance between the two. Patrick O’Reilly was raised in California and Texas with the understanding that both hard work and family were important. He spent the early summers of his life working for his relative’s family farm, something that taught him the importance of both.

Patrick O’Reilly has a wife and two daughters, for which caring for can be just as important as providing for. He has learned over the years, as a husband and father, that providing both financial and emotional stability is equally important. The most difficult part, according to Patrick O’Reilly, is seeing that a proper balance is maintained. You want to make sure you are providing the financial and material resources your family needs, but you do not want to do it at the expense of compromising the relational aspect of family.

Patrick O’Reilly has found that several factors play into the successful and healthy balancing act. He believes that one of the most important factors is communication. By communicating where you are, what you are doing, and why you are doing it, Patrick O’Reilly believes that you can keep assumptions at a minimum. As a military man, Patrick O’Reilly continuously worked long hours and traveled extensively; but a lack of communication on this issue can cause major problems. Patrick O’Reilly has always subscribed to the theory that up-front communication can dissipate future problems before they exist.

On the relational front of family life, spending time together is irreplaceable. Patrick O’Reilly saw the importance of spending 2-3 nights a week eating dinner as a family. Time spent around the kitchen table was essential for healthy conversations.

Patrick O’Reilly Mentors Future Recruits

When Patrick O’Reilly visited and spoke at universities such as Purdue, Auburn, Howard, Tuskegee Alabama A&M, Harvard, Nebraska, North Carolina State, and University of Alabama engineering students, he clearly conveyed their importance to the future of America’s safety and security. Students in the engineering programs may not have been considering long-term careers in the defense industry or government, but after hearing Patrick O’Reilly, many of them had questions about the potential opportunities.

During his talks and tours of the universities, Patrick O’Reilly introduced the development of a direct career program being introduced by the Missile Defense Agency. This peaked many students curiosities as he explained the seamless transition from college to career. The agency is open to students not only studying engineering but all curriculums from business to geology. If the students enter the agreement with the Missile Defense Agency, they change positions every six months to learn all different facets of the agency.

Patrick O’Reilly assured interested students that defense is not a field that is dying off, rather it is becoming more high-tech and more in demand. Many of the current employees of the Missile Defense Agency were hired over twenty years ago and it is really time for new blood with new educations. Patrick O’Reilly recalled how different things were technologically when he joined the agency to where they are today.

Students seemed excited by the opportunities presented by Patrick O’Reilly and many were simply honored to meet him. He was inspiring to them and encouraged them to think way outside of their comfort zones. He assured them that that would be where their success would be found – even if they decided not to pursue anything with the litary. Now retired, Patrick O’Reilly continues to assist teachers and encourage high school students to pursue science and math.

Patrick O’Reilly Shares at Colleges and Universities

Every time Patrick O’Reilly is invited to speak at a college or university, he is brought back to his days at West Point. Even though he attended several colleges after that, his undergraduate experience was his most memorable. Perhaps it was because it was his first real accomplishment but he always keeps that in mind when preparing speeches he would deliver.

Patrick O’Reilly crafts his speeches based on current events, his own experiences and advice he has for his audience of engineering students. He has been told more often than once that his speeches have greatly influenced a student uncertain of his or her own career path. This is not to say that the student leaves their graduation and joins the military, but Patrick O’Reilly’s speech gave them some hope, structure and food for thought.

One of the most reoccurring themes in Patrick O’Reilly’s speeches is staying flexible in an ever-changing environment. He always talks about being open to understanding how to adapt the degrees they have earned in the world as it is today. This really hits home with recent graduates who see a bleak job market and feel they are safer to stay in school. Patrick O’Reilly encourages those students to get out into the world and do as much as they can, even if it is not necessarily in their field of study.

Experience is what matters in life and when you try to plan every minute of those experiences, they end up not flowing naturally. Patrick O’Reilly relates all of these points to his own career and how it moved from one arena to another. He always points out that if he had not been open to those opportunities, as they were not on his prescribed trajectory, he would have missed out on so much.

Starting as a Cadet at West Point: Patrick O’Reilly

Patrick O’Reilly would never forget the first time he stepped foot onto the beautiful campus of West Point in New York State. He had never been to New York before and like most people, only thought of New York City, but was pleased to see the beauty of upstate New York, home to West Point. Patrick O’Reilly arrived in the heat of the summer when the population of New York City was vibrantly enjoying outside activities.

Patrick O’Reilly’s military career started with six weeks of strenuous and intense training to indoctrinate him as a cadet and introduce him to military values. As a cadet, there was not much down-time but whenever there was, Patrick O’Reilly made it a point to enjoy the outdoor beauty of West Point. Between his heavy class load, military duties and time spent on the fencing team, Patrick O’Reilly learned the value of time management, which served him well throughout his military career. He especially enjoyed his rare breaks to see the sights of New York City.

Patrick O’Reilly realized early the great opportunity West Point afforded him and struggled to ensure he did not take it for granted. He took his studies and duties as a cadet very seriously. His hard work paid off as he achieved the dean’s list on five of his final six semesters at West Point. His roommate would often comment that he was spending far too much time studying and was not enjoying the time being thousands of miles away from home. Patrick O’Reilly did not see the benefits in slacking off too much as he always was grateful for the opportunities to serve his nation in a military career. Patrick O’Reilly returned to teach at West Point was to pay back the academy by teaching a new generation of cadets.

Patrick O’Reilly’s early character development and West Point

Patrick O’Reilly was raised in California, the mid-west and Texas. His character and work ethic was a product of his relationship with his extended family on many family farms in Nebraska. He was particularly inspired by his uncles who worked arduously daily tending to the cattle and crops in the blazing heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter. As a boy, Patrick O’Reilly enjoyed his sense of service to his family as he helped his cousins do the chores essential to a farming. Additionally, Patrick O’Reilly’s drive, preparation and endurance were forged into his character on the high school football and track practice fields in Texas.

Patrick O’Reilly’s father’s naval experience in World War II motivated him to apply to the US Naval Academy. Although accepted at Annapolis, his did not gain a waiver for his nearsightedness. Patrick O’Reilly’s Senator, John Tower, felt he had tremendous potential as a military leader and nominated him for an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1974. Although unfamiliar with the Army, Patrick O’Reilly relied on his work ethic, strong character, and family values to succeed as a cadet. He had a drive and passion at the young age of seventeen would be the foundation of an illustrious military career.

Patrick O’Reilly met the love of his life, Judy, while attending a football game during his junior year at West Point. They were seen constantly together at West Point until his graduation, when they were married a year later. By his side as a cadet or an officer for 34 years, Judy was the key to Patrick O’Reilly’s happy home life and successful career. Patrick O’Reilly would always reflect on his time at West Point and how it prepared him for the rest of his military experiences.

Missile Defense Agency Director: Patrick O’Reilly

As a proven leader throughout his career, LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly was a highly qualified candidate for the President to nominate, and the US Senate to confirm, as Director of the Missile Defense Agency in 2008. LTG Patrick O’Reilly led many projects and programs throughout his 34 years in the. Army. In 2007, General Patrick O’Reilly worked as the Deputy Director of the Missile Defense Agency for the U.S. Department of Defense. Excelling in all areas of responsibility, Patrick O’Reilly was then elevated to the role of Director of this globally deployed Department of Defense agency.

LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly successfully demonstrated and applied his ability to make decisive decisions and act as a strong leader. As the Agency developed, LTG Patrick O’Reilly was relied on to address technical issues to counter the growing and diverse threats posed by ballistic missiles. As Director, General Patrick O’Reilly led the construction of an additional missile field in Alaska to ensure a more robust national missile defense. Patrick O’Reilly made many innovative and successful changes and acted as a critical decision authority for the development of US defense systems for the U.S. Department of Defense.

One of LT Gen Patrick O’Reilly’s most memorable contributions was his strategic direction on how to deploy missile defenses in Europe, which innovatively countered the ballistic missile threat posed from the Middle East. LTG Patrick O’Reilly advised the Office of Secretary of Defense, the Department of State, the National Security Council and Combatant Commanders to develop and initiate a phased and adaptable plan for deployment of missile defenses in Europe. Lieutenant General O’Reilly advanced the acceptance of this plan in Europe by repeatedly briefing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and directly participating in diplomatic negotiations. This achievement is a historical milestone in advancement of missile defense.