When did you join the military and what branch did you join?
Erik: I joined the Army August of 2003.
How long did you serve for?
Erik: 7 years
What was your role in the military vs. what are you doing now?
Erik: I was an MI Systems Integrator/Maintainer. I was trained to fix all MI systems the Army operates. I specialized in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Shadow program. Now I’m the Operations Lead/Project Engineer for fire operations. I manage 2 contracts that support the United States Forest Service (USFS) and California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)/Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).
What did you learn during your time serving?
Erik: I learned what hard work looks like and to remain flexible in both approach and attitude.
How did you hear about AEVEX?
Erik: I have been with the company since 2012 as I was originally a part of SOS. I heard about SOS through a friend from the military.
How does AEVEX utilize your skill set and help you succeed in your role?
Erik: AEVEX has been using me as a utility player for years. I feel that I adapt very well to dynamic situations and am willing to put in the extra work to ensure the mission is a success.
How does AEVEX empower you and veterans like you?
Erik: AEVEX gives me the opportunity to serve the people doing the real work on the ground. I’m just the short point guard that passes the ball to the big fella for a dunk.
What do you think are the benefits of hiring Veterans?
Erik: Most veterans can provide a perspective of military operations that can only be gained by serving. It is difficult to understand a situation if you have no real-life experience in it.
Do you have any advice to fellow veterans about working in the civilian field?
Erik: Take advantage of the opportunities afforded to you by the VA and other organizations for free education. Department of defense contracts require a certain level of education for certain roles. Just because you’ve done the work before, does not mean you can fill the role.