Capt. Held is a Colorado National Guard soldier assigned to the 193rd Space Support Battalion. He has deployed numerous times during recent combat operations in support of space missions. A computer engineer as a civilian, Held worked hardware-software integration on the Wide Field Camera 3 portion of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as biomedical engineering projects. He was a lead instructor at the Interservice Space Fundamentals Course teaching satellite design theory, propulsion theory, and orbital dynamics. As a member of the Mars Society, an organization composed largely of scientists devoted to the goal of reaching Mars, Held recently participated in an experiment, funded partly by NASA, in which those involved lived and worked in a simulated Mars environment.