Joe Wright had the same fears other veterans have when they transition from the armed forces to the civilian corporate world. Only it turns out that his Army experience created a perfect foundation for him to flourish at Continental.
I was worried.
Worried about how people would accept me once they learned I had been in the Army for 26 years.
I served all around the world, from Hawaii to Washington, D.C. to Korea. I was section chief, operations sergeant, instructor, medical supply specialist, and command sergeant major. How would these positions translate in the corporate world?
We do things very differently in the military. Or so I thought. What I learned when I joined Continental as a production supervisor at our plant in Seguin, Texas, was that the mechanics of the job were the same – the commodity was just different.
I didn’t realize how much I could draw from my Army skillset until I got here. The same core values I learned in the military, particularly when it comes to leadership and teaching, has helped me carve out a career at Continental that I didn’t think was possible.
Once I got the hang of my production role, including how to manage more than 30 people on the production line, I yearned for something more. I told my manager I loved what I did, but it wasn’t enough for me – I wanted to learn the business. That’s when I got promoted to production manager, a position I held for seven years.
People started to figure out then that I know logistics very well, so that’s when I climbed the ladder again to my current role as Internal Material Control Manager. Now, it’s my job to make sure all the global shipments that come in and out of the plant –go smoothly and get where they need to be.
I absolutely love my job.
My co-workers are the main reason. In addition to working hard and being team players, they are very supportive of my military experience. In fact, senior leadership asked me to develop new strategies based on military principles. I also helped launch an annual veterans’ program at the plant, a celebration to honor the more than 10 percent of Continental employees who are veterans.
Continental’s leadership love veterans. They believe in recruiting us, and are very committed and loyal to us once we’re here.
And we give the same back to them.