Inside OSI: IT specialist shares his story

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

As the go-to SharePoint expert for the Office of Special Investigations, Julio Velezón II sometimes feels like the agency’s “most popular guy,” he joked.

But his role is no laughing matter. Every day, Velezón integrates complex data systems into OSI’s network, using the latest tech innovations to support more than 300 detachments across OSI.

“The most satisfying aspect of my work is knowing I can make a real difference for people who need support,” he said. “This job, while new, allows me to be the person who reaches out, who teaches and helps others understand and use our SharePoint system effectively.”

These efforts are central to the integration of OSI's communications and data management systems, he said, which ensure information is accessible and secure across the organization. 

“There's a great sense of achievement when I hear from someone that I've made their work easier,” Velezón said. “It’s not just about solving technical issues; it's about empowering our teams across the organization, making their daily tasks more manageable and ensuring they have the tools they need.”

In many ways, SharePoint is not just a digital tool, but a lifeline for OSI, connecting facets of the agency together into a cohesive and interactive way, he said, especially as the agency moves from shared drives to more integrated SharePoint and OneDrive solutions.

“Helping people find ways to more easily find, create, organize, and share information is vital to any modern organization,” said Special Agent Jeffrey Carlson, Application Management & Development associate director, and Velezon’s supervisor. 

According to Carlson, it’s people like Velezon, and the other members on their team, who build and maintain the platforms that make that possible.

“The most rewarding part of my job is being able to assist people who feel unsupported,” Velezón said. “This role is relatively new, and it’s fulfilling to establish a support system for SharePoint users across the organization, making their jobs easier and more efficient.”

But his work managing data and enhancing communication is not confined to his civilian role.

As an Air Force Reservist, Tech. Sgt. Velezón applies similar skills in his role as a noncommissioned officer. His military service, which includes managing knowledge operations for the 459th Air Refueling Wing, mirrors his civilian duties, by balancing information flows to support both national security and operational readiness.
This also allows more freedoms in his Reserve role. 

“Velezon has unique perspective since he is not only a Reservist but also previously served as a contractor and is now a civilian employee with OSI,” Carlson said. “His blend of experiences and contacts is an asset as we strive to modernize and professionalize the Command’s presence online.”

“OSI is very flexible, which is crucial when I have duty weekends or travel as a senior NCO,” Velezón said. “I hardly know what a regular nine-to-five job is anymore because I’m often working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, which allows me not to be confined to a desk." 

Velezón’s military service includes a deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for Operation FREEDOM SENTINEL. This experience has given him deep insights into the complexities of global military operations, he said, and the crucial role of data management in high-stakes environments.

In addition, his experience in uniform has continued to sharpen his ability to manage, secure and optimize data systems, skills he applies daily at OSI to enhance the agency's data strategies, he said. 

“Communication and collaboration are vital to any organization and Julio is dedicated to ensuring that OSI leverages the tools we have to deliver that capability to the Command,” Carlson said. 

When he joined OSI, Velezón was drawn to the stability and opportunities offered by a permanent role within the government.  

"I started my journey as a contractor in Virginia after moving from Georgia, and I wanted to utilize my technical skills," Velezón said, adding that his transition to OSI wasn't just about job security; it was about finding a role where he could make a meaningful impact.

The decisive moment came during a hiring freeze when he secured a direct hire position, a rare opportunity, he said, which also marked a significant turning point in his career. 

"I was just breaking into the IT world," he said, adding although the initial attraction to OSI was not specific, but the organization's mission and the nature of its work resonated with his own aspirations to serve and protect on a national scale.

Since then, OSI has allowed him to leverage his extensive technical expertise while offering the chance to grow and expand his responsibilities, he said. 

This also aligns with his career goals in both his civilian and military duties, Velezón said, adding that he appreciates OSI's support of his dual commitments, flexibility and understanding, which have been crucial in managing his responsibilities as a reservist. 

"Now that I'm in a more secured civilian position, I know that I have job security," he said, underscoring how this stability has allowed him to focus more effectively on his duties in the Air Force Reserve.

“The non-agent staff is essential to supporting the agents in the field,” he said. “We ensure the smooth operation of their activities. Our role is to provide technical support and streamline processes, making a significant impact on OSI’s operations."

Editor’s Note: “Inside OSI” is a series highlighting essential roles of non-Special Agent personnel at OSI. These stories showcase how each member contributes uniquely to OSI’s mission, underlining the diverse skills and collaborative efforts needed for OSI’s operational readiness.