Veteran Spotlight: Meet Andrew, a Production Technician for MST
November 17, 2022
As part of National Veterans and Military Families month, we are shining the spotlight on our veterans at SNC. Nearly 30% of SNC’s workforce are veterans and it’s their first-hand experience that can make a major difference in our products. Andrew G. is currently a 1st Sgt. in the Nevada Army National Guard — stationed in northern Nevada where he also works for SNC as a lead technician for SNC’s electronic intelligence (ELINT) product line within the Mission Solutions & Technologies (MST) business area. However, his dedication to the mission started long before the National Guard or his role at SNC.
Andrew, tell us a bit about your military experience.
I enlisted in 2002 — not long after 9/11. I always planned on joining the service but wanted to stay local, not necessarily go on active duty and leave the state (Nevada). I liked the idea of serving part-time, staying in my community, coming home, and being with friends and family that I knew, while still being able to serve my country.
For the first eight years of my [military] career, I served as a supply specialist and a unit armorer. I was the weapons repair guy and ran part of the logistics for Lima Troop of the 1st of the 221st Cavalry Squadron. I then deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010 with them. I also did a stateside deployment from 2004 to 2006 at Fort Irwin, California, where we trained units that were deploying to Iraq.
Following Afghanistan, Andrew, your job changed to be a cadre member of the Recruit Sustainment Company — what was that like?
We trained all the new enlisted soldiers with the goal of preparing them for basic training. We introduced them to the environment, especially for those that had never been exposed to something like that and it has great success rates.
Can you tell us about the new unit and why you were chosen for it?
I was in my retirement window when my commanders offered me a unique opportunity to stand up a new unit within the National Guard. I had to compete for it against my peers, but they really wanted me to stick around to keep the knowledge base. The 440th Tactical Installation and Networking — Enhanced Company (TIN-E) — is tasked with going through and re-cabling entire buildings to get them up and running — basically, we provide the building infrastructure to enable the internet and communications networks.
What is the story behind the orange monkey in all the photos?
My niece and nephew gave me the monkey before I deployed to Afghanistan. I told them I would get as many pictures of him doing cool stuff while I was there. I sent them the pictures while I was overseas so they could follow his journey.
What is it like to be a veteran at SNC?
We get acknowledged. It's satisfying and fulfilling. Last year, Jeremy Popov, SVP business operations, MST, and Jay Lawson, director operations, MST, handed out challenge coins to the veterans on Veterans Day. They recognize us. SNC is a very welcoming employer to serve with. And what's great is that I used some of our products during my military career. I started off on our SKL product line. So, it's pretty neat to see the process of that.
To that point, what do you think about having nearly 30% of SNC’s workforce being veterans? Do you see the impact of that?
As I said, I've used our products in the field. When you hire individuals who have used what you make, you can actually have direct, firsthand knowledge and insight to improve the technology, or come up with ideas that can further enhance our capability on the battlefield.
What are some other interesting facts about you outside of SNC and your military service?
I like pit bulls, so I won't have any other dogs. My wife and I are big on rescuing them. They just need a little bit of stability. I think they're fantastic but unfortunately just a misunderstood breed. I build custom water-cooled computers. And I like to read a lot - mostly sci-fi novels. I've been with my wife for almost 15 years now and have lived most of my life in northern Nevada. I like to ride dirt bikes. I love going out and doing hikes as well. The Winnemucca Lake trailhead is one of the best and prettiest ones near Reno. And I'm hoping to try and do the Tahoe Rim Trail this next hiking season.
With all of your experience in the service and in life, what’s one thing you want to leave employees with?
Take time to talk to the people below you because they may have a better idea of how to do something than you do.
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.