Reflecting on What Military Sacrifices Have Made Possible

May252013

Memorial Day is a time to reflect and give thanks to the members of the U.S. Armed Forces who lost their lives in service to their country. The willingness of men and women to make the ultimate sacrifice while defending this country and its ideals makes it possible for us to enjoy a free society; one where the ability to succeed is limited only by one’s own motivation and vision.

The military also provides a pipeline for new hires, enabling companies like Applied Materials to tap into their skills to push the limits of science and technology even further.

At Applied, we honor fallen members of the U.S. Armed Forces by making sure their brothers and sisters in arms have opportunities to succeed when they move back into civilian life. In his recent address while visiting Applied Materials Austin, President Obama specifically highlighted the military as an institution where Americans can earn the technical skills and experience that will make them valued employees in the growing high-tech economy.  We couldn’t agree more.

Recently, Applied was recognized for its outstanding support of military veterans and National Guard and Reserve members and was designated a 2013 Top 100 Military Friendly Employer.

Applied has a robust military recruitment program that provides outreach and professional development opportunities for employees with military backgrounds and assists them with the transition from the military to a corporate culture. When transitioning military veterans join Applied they join a network of fellow veterans that can help integrate the new veteran into the corporate environment.

To better understand the skills and experience veterans gain in the military, I spoke with Curtis Geroy, Applied’s HR staffing consultant and former member of the U.S. Marine Corps and current officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He works with U.S. servicemen and women to help them determine if their experience and background make them candidates for joining the Applied Materials team. I asked Curtis about his military service, his own transition to the semiconductor industry, and his plans for the holiday.

How did the skills you earned during your time in the Marines benefit you?

In the Marines, I received training in avionics and electronics which gave me the expertise I needed to secure a job as a technician with a semiconductor company when I was discharged.  Having that job allowed me to finish my undergraduate and graduate degrees, which allowed me to achieve my ultimate goal of a career in HR.

What else did your time in the military teach you?

The importance of team work.  In the Corps, we knew that the success of the team is directly linked to helping your team members be successful.  If one of us failed, the whole team failed.  That kind of attitude towards team work can overcome any challenge, be it in military or business.

The Marines also taught me how to set goals to ensure I grew in my career.  In the military, each person’s responsibilities and authority are well defined, be they an officer or enlisted person.  That kind of structure makes it clear to the individual exactly what they need to do to move upward. Having the clarity and focus to know what I needed to do to grow and advance has really paid dividends to me in my civilian life. 

This benefits Applied Materials, too, by offering a pool of highly skilled and motivated employees that understand the importance of working as a team.

Do you have plans for Memorial Day?

I’ll be attending a memorial ceremony at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Shasta County where I grew up.  Participating in the ceremony means a lot to me and it will give me the opportunity to reflect on some profound feelings.  On one hand, there is a sense of pride I’ll feel returning as a naval officer to the place where it all started for me and reflecting back on just how far I’ve come.  On the other hand, there is a feeling of sadness and deep gratitude as I look at the grave markers of others whose sacrifices made it possible to achieve my dreams.

From all of us here at Applied, a heartfelt thank you to past and present service men and women this Memorial Day who give the ultimate gift to us all – freedom.

For more information about Applied’s military program visit our web site.

 

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