Today, as we recognize and thank our military servicemen and servicewomen for what they have given to our country, let us remember the other ways veterans serve our country – by providing highly needed expertise and skills in our workplace.
One of the greatest ways we as businesses can honor their service is to support them in their transition from their time in uniform to their next career. This process benefits everyone as veterans are able to access jobs they deserve, employers gain committed employees, and our country becomes more competitive in the global market. There is no business culture in the world that shapes people for success the way the military does. Each year approximately 200,000 members of the U. S. Armed Forces will separate from active duty and re-enter the civilian work force or pursue higher education. Businesses cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to hire these skilled, seasoned individuals.
Here at EMI, our veterans are an invaluable resource. They have been instrumental in advancing our company in almost every area including maintenance, mechanics, irrigation, finance, human resources, and operations.
Here are a couple of their stories:
Zach Rohr. Master Gunnery Sergeant, Marine Corps.
Director of Development at EMI
Zach was able to internship with EMI through the DOD SkillBridge Program. This program is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects Service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences.
“For myself, I served 24 years in the United States Marine Corps. I retired as a Master Gunnery Sergeant. During these 24 years I served in various positions of leadership which has allowed me to smoothly transition to my role here at EMI. I served in the Infantry and went on multiple deployments which included Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In the Marine Corps, we stress mission accomplishment and troop welfare however, people always.
We trusted that if you take care of the people, the job takes care of itself, and I was able to adapt that mindset to EMI. What makes EMI so special is its people. We focus on taking care of them and they continue taking care of us.
I feel whether Service Members served for 4 years or twenty plus years an employer is getting someone with a great work ethic, which is driven to succeed, taking great pride in what they do and are accountable. Which these are great qualities to have in an employee. It was my honor to have served this great nation for as long as I did. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Marine Corps and my family.”
Tom Kiefer. National Guard Reserves
CFO of EMI
“I was a reservist from 1983-1989, then inactive reserves until 1991 in the National Guard. I went to basic and advanced training, stinger missiles, then weekends and summer camps after that, made the rank of E5.
For me, the military provided an underlying structure that I try to use as much as I can. Count on your team and hope/ try to earn that they feel they can count on me, understand chain of command and approach problems knowing who we have on the board and their strength in the roles where they perform. Consistently working to build bench strength and readiness as we go to market every day.”
Tim Sharrock. Army
Assets Manager for EMI
“The greatest lessons that I have taken from the time I spent in Army are Loyalty- always bear your truth to your team, Duty- fulfill your obligations, Selfless Service, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Being able to keep pushing yourself forward to what you might think are unreachable goals and tasks. Here at EMI, I am able to use the skills the Army taught me to organize and run the operations in the yard, as well as build and run an effective team.”
Joe Lewis. Gunnery Sergeant, Marine Corps.
Growth and Development Manager for EMI
“I served over 18 years in the United States Marine Corps. I retired at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, with my position serving in the Infantry as a platoon commander for a combined anti-armor team. Throughout my career, I served in the Infantry and spent time on recruiting duty, holding various leadership positions during my career. I feel the ability to collaborate with different people to accomplish a common goal helped me adjust to life outside of the military. The confidence in my ability to learn, train others, and bring people together helped me succeed at EMI. The Marine Corps emphasizes mission accomplishment as the primary goal, with troop welfare a close second. This mindset/focus requires you to adapt to the situation to overcome challenges to accomplish individual and group goals. This helps prioritize and plan to effectively realize goal accomplishment. The many skills and lessons learned throughout my Marine Corps career has helped me to enjoy success in this industry and provide for my amazing family.”
Thank you to all the men and women who have and continue to serve our nation. As a company, it is an honor to have these individuals work with us. We encourage other businesses to research and participate in the SkillBridge Program as a way of recruitment, especially during the current labor shortage. Now is the time to honor the sacrifices and commitment of our military personnel and their families, by helping create successful careers after their service.
Pictured from left to right: (Jason Wilson, Marine Corps. Robert Cowman, Navy. Tim Sharrock, Army. Gary Clark, Army. Joe Lewis, Marine Corps. Tom Kiefer, National Guard. Brian Baker, Marine Corps. Zach Rohr, Marine Corps. Shon Wolfe, Air Force.)