Military service comes with many challenges. Implementing technology in austere conditions is among them. It amazed me at the things I saw our communications team do in extreme conditions in Afghanistan. Here in the states we are used to simply plugging our computers in to high speed internet which instantly takes us anywhere we need to go. Actually, we are used to being connected wirelessly wherever and whenever we want to be. This works well here as we have infrastructure to support it. Afghanistan does not have this infrastructure built. Our communications team set up and maintained communications (Comm) ties with the outside world. There was no hard wired internet running into the country or our location, yet they still had to build and maintain a comm system which would aide in accomplishing the missions at hand. They constantly had to monitor these connections to ensure we had the support we needed. Air quality was poor at best on most days which directly impacted the signals we received with the outside world. Comm was always there and always available. Our internet may not have always been fast and there may be a delay on our phones when calling back stateside but they were always available. I could sit at my desk and use a calling card or call back to my home base and be transferred to my family to speak to them; it was never something I had to worry about.
This is just one of many examples of how tech savvy todays vets can be. They hit the ground running and switch gears quickly when technical platforms change do to availability of suppliers. They face constant challenges in accomplishing their mission each and every day. Translate this into what employees in your business face day in and day out. Is it possible someone who has performed at this level could come in and perform at or above standards in very short order? If so, consider what your strategic plan should be for how you identify, attract, hire, develop, promote and retain veterans in your organization.
Dennis Davis, Chief Translation Officer