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How It All Began

How It All Began is based on Miguel "Mike" Cisneros Jr.'s life experiences growing up as a child dealing with family conflicts, domestic violence, bullying and child abuse, homelessness, and short periods of happiness. At times there were moments of hopelessness, despair, and desperation until he had to make a life-changing commitment to leave all that was negative and begin a new life, hoping something positive would come from it. That life-changing commitment was with the United States Navy.

From the very beginning upon joining the Navy, many in leadership positions seemed to try blocking his desire to move forward, including people in leadership positions during a period when the Vietnam War was ending and the military was experiencing racial tension. Even though he didn't like it and knew it wasn't right, he kept going. There were also those in leadership positions that saw the potential in him and provided the mentoring and guidance for him to advance.

After serving in the Navy for over thirty years, through many years of sea duty, deployments, family separations, adversity, and at times humiliations, he found ways to achieve his goals and succeed. At the same time, he provides insights of the chain of command and their leadership style. As with all organizations, there are good leaders and bad leaders; and from that, he learned and tried emulating the best from each.

This personal story was written in the hopes that someone may learn from these experiences and perhaps inspire them to believe in themselves, to use their abilities, to have a positive attitude, and most importantly, to never give up.

--Miguel Cisneros

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