Today’s tech talk will depart from our establish theme and take a week off to recognize two significant days this month for those with military connections; Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. Cosmital, Inc is a veteran owned small business and we are very proud of our military service. So, this week we will offer our thoughts on the upcoming holidays.

First, let’s do a quick review of the differences between the two and Veterans Day that happens later in the year.

  • Armed Forces Day – May 20, 2017 – A day to honor those currently serving in the US Armed Forces.
  • Memorial Day – May 29, 2017 – A day to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the US Armed Forces.
  • Veterans Day – November 11, 2017 – A day to honor those that previously served in the US Armed Forces.

While Armed Forces and Memorial Days are not “my days” per se, as a Veteran, the upcoming days bring up many fond memories and many different emotions. It reminds me of my contemporaries that are still serving; the ones that decided to stay have served continuously for over 25 years. In my mind that means many of them repeatedly exposed themselves to the most dangerous, perilous situations possible, survived, and kept going. But I’m reminded that some of them, in the performance of their duties, made that ultimate sacrifice.

Everyday I’m inspired by my experiences serving with these brave men and women and use the lessons learned from my military experience in my technology driven civilian endeavors. I think of my peers, who I spent endless hours trying to figure out all manner of technical issues for which we were never formally trained to solve. The Enlisted men and women that spent many hours with me so I would know the difference between a Multiplexer and a Transmitter or all the systems that use Low Pressure Air, among other things. The Quartermaster that showed me how to use the GPS but also showed me how to navigate “Old School” using the stars. The Senior Officers that showed me how to “drive” the ship and the importance of the Venturi Effect when ships were close together. I’m reminded of the value of experience as opposed to “book learning” and how they go hand in hand. I’m reminded how I saw the difference between knowing and mastering how to do things by watching these folks in action. You could say the basis of all my technical and leadership abilities come from these great people.

So this month, if you know someone currently serving or see a uniformed service member, show your appreciation in a manner you think most fitting. And if you know someone who lost a family member or friend while in service, take a moment to honor their memory together.

And for those of you that have thoughts of hiring, keep in mind that those with military experience bring more than job experience. They bring with them vastly different, positive life experiences that can enrich your workplace.

By: Sam Kwon, Lieutenant (fmr), US Navy

Memorial Day has special meaning to me, and it’s a day I don’t take lightly. Many of us know, or even are, men and women who have served in the armed forces. Some of us know, or are, men and women who served in theatre, which is to say in harm’s way. And then there are those of us who lost those we cared about, both family and comrades, during their time serving overseas. I am in the third group.

I served in the US Marines, during the onset of Iraq and over several years in places some know from headlines: “Ramadi”, “Fallujah”, “Najaf”, and others. I also knew and respected brothers (including the females, we’re all “brothers” in arms by my aim) who aren’t with us today. Many because they came home different people, many more who didn’t come home at all. It’s hard to write about Memorial Day, or any day honoring veterans, without thinking of those who paid the price.

Rather than focus on the loss, though, I choose to take a different approach: honor what they stood for and be inspired to do better. This may sound like trite wisdom, but I live by it nonetheless. Painful as it sometimes is, it inspires me to try harder in life and career. I’m inspired to be a better friend, husband, business leader, and person. We’re all human, and we all have our faults; but that does not absolve us of the responsibility to give it our all. This is true everywhere in life, especially business.

As a community, veterans take the world, the mission, and their coworkers seriously and dedicate themselves to the advancement thereof. If you have the chance, consider what veterans on staff can do to improve the professionalism and commitment your team has for the success of the business. When you hire a former serviceman, you get the things you can’t teach in school: integrity, dedication, and a never-quit attitude that pushes others to be their best.

By: Joe Adams, Sergeant (fmr), US Marines

By: Sam Kwon, CEO, & Joe Adams, President, Cosmital, Inc.