August 30, 2022
As the sponsor of Caterpillar’s Armed Forces Support Network, Senior Vice President Brian Edwards explains how Veterans are making major impact across all fields at Caterpillar.
1. Why do you believe veterans can help drive success and innovation at Caterpillar?
For any company, success and innovation come from having a diverse team. Veterans have a rich background of unique and valuable skills that enhances our ability to reach business results.
2. What previous experiences do veterans have that lend them to a successful career at Caterpillar?
I think no matter what their service background, each veteran has experienced what it means to be part of a successful team and has a high degree of excellence in their individual work. They also have foundational values which is incredibly important at Caterpillar.
3. What would you say to veterans in the job market to encourage them to choose Caterpillar for a career?
Caterpillar offers an opportunity for an individual’s abilities and experiences to really shine. Their work matters – in the community and around the world where our customers rely on us to make meaningful and sustainable progress.
4. What kinds of opportunities are available for veterans and their family members at Caterpillar, both within the ERG and career paths?
The cool thing about a company as big as Caterpillar is that someone can find nearly any kind of opportunity they want… whether it’s supply chain, accounting, engineering, manufacturing and a whole lot more. Particularly within the employee resource group, they can apply and grow their leadership skills and expand their network to help other veterans both inside and outside the company. We also have a lot of opportunities for spouses of service members. Those individuals make a lot of sacrifices to support their military spouse… they work under pressure, maintain a steady home during deployments and share values similar to Caterpillar like Integrity, Teamwork and Commitment.
5. What do you do as Caterpillar’s AFSN (Armed Forces Support Network) Sponsor?
My role as sponsor is to help shine a light on the awesome veterans within the company and help open doors so they can achieve greater success. I am here to champion their efforts to help veterans find opportunities to join the team – and for those veterans within the company, to continue their personal and professional growth journey. I am here to champion Caterpillar as a great place to work too – somewhere where the skills developed during military service – or in support of a family member in service - are both valued and understood.
6. You have family members who have served and have been working closely with veterans at Caterpillar. How have you seen first-hand how military experience positively influences leadership?
From cousins, aunts and uncles to current colleagues, I am so proud to know many service members and cannot express my gratitude enough for their service and sacrifice. In terms of leadership, I have witnessed the deep level of personal commitment and care for others that was forged during their time in the service. Those are the qualities that really shine in a successful leader.
7. How and why do you believe that Caterpillar is dedicated to hiring veterans?
I think Caterpillar recognizes the incredible skill and dedication that veterans bring to the company through their work. These men and women have a strong work ethic and discipline that was developed during their military service – that carries forward into a great career at Caterpillar. Veterans know how to work as part of a team and as individuals, so there is a unique understanding of teamwork and accountability that we truly value as a company. That’s part of why we committed, along with other companies, to the Veterans Job Mission to support this community.
Brian Edwards is the senior vice president of the Caterpillar Remanufacturing Division and Executive Sponsor of the Armed Forces Support Network. Brian is passionate about giving back, personally and professionally, and champions support of local veterans at Caterpillar’s remanufacturing facilities. In honor of their efforts, the West Fargo reman facility was recently recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) with the “Above and Beyond” award. This recognition is for businesses that go beyond the minimum requirements to support our employees who juggle not only a career with Caterpillar but also heed the nation’s call to protect global interests and security. We’re grateful and happy to support all our men and women in uniform!