Honoring those who nobly served our nation
On Veterans Day, and every day, we should renew our commitment to protect and enhance their lives
Every year on Veterans Day, I think about family, friends, and colleagues who have nobly served.
Within my family, you could say service to country runs deeply through our DNA. My father served in the U.S. Air Force and my grandfather was a Marine. I enlisted in the Navy right after graduating from college and spent more than 20 years in active and Reserve roles, until I retired in 2017. Some of my most important lessons of leadership, which I carry with me today, were learned as an enlisted sailor.
During my time in the military, I was fortunate to work alongside many mission-driven people who inspired and motivated me, and I learned the value of innovation and technology to our military. They are the reason I have dedicated my life to supporting our Armed Forces while they are deployed, and upon their return home.
In my current role as a vice president of countermeasure & electromagnetic attack solutions at BAE Systems, I oversee an area of the business that takes battlefield innovation to unprecedented levels, all in the name of making sure our men and women in uniform come home safely. We take our mission of “We Protect Those Who Protect Us®” to heart, and that mission extends to supporting veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life.
This year, BAE Systems’ Community Investment team launched a Tech Power Grant Program that aims to provide technology and advanced manufacturing job training for veterans and military families. The goal is to improve lives and advance careers through the power of innovative technology and experiences. To achieve this, we’ve launched valuable partnerships with the following organizations:
- KTECH in Huntsville, Ala., which provides workforce training and credential programs in mechatronics, soldering, and robotics.
- Workshops for Warriors in San Diego, Calif., which offers accredited STEM educational programs and opportunities for veterans to earn third party nationally recognized credentials in advanced manufacturing methods, including welding and machining.
- Abilities Inc. at the Viscardi Center in Greenlawn, N.Y., helps veterans match job skills with current labor market needs.
- Veterans Count in New Hampshire helps under-served and undercounted veterans achieve career goals, build self-sufficiency, and improve their quality of life.
- NPower in New Jersey creates pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities.
I have been a member of the state executive committee of Veterans Count since 2009. My hope is that by partnering with these organizations, we can help ensure veterans and their families do not have to endure personal struggles after sacrificing so much for our country.
On Veterans Day – and every day – we should all renew our commitment to providing unrivaled solutions to protect and enhance the lives of those who serve. We honor those who courageously protect our country, and we can’t thank them enough for their sacrifices.
Dave Harrold, a Navy veteran, is vice president of countermeasure & electromagnetic attack solutions at BAE Systems.