November 7, 2022
Caterpillar’s global workforce includes members of the veteran and military community who make an impact using their unique and valuable experiences. Many of these employees belong to Caterpillar’s Global Armed Forces Support Network (AFSN) community – an employee resource group (ERG) that works with veterans, their families and allies to ensure that the veteran community has resources and support necessary for fulfilling lives inside and outside work.
This November 11, on Veterans, Armistice, and Remembrance Day, we are highlighting our colleagues who have served their countries. Learn how some high-performing individuals translate military experiences to their day jobs at Caterpillar.
“My military career prepared me to work in corporate America through extensive experience with operations, technical training, and working with cross-functional teams consisting of military and civilian workforce as well as diplomats. These experiences gave me the opportunity to add value to Caterpillar on day one, as I understood the need to work with a team to drive bottom line results by building highly energetic teams and doing the work that matters to drive OPACC growth.” – Ernie Reyes, EMSM NA/EU Facility Purchasing Manager, Caterpillar Armed Forces Support Network Global Chairman, U.S. Marine Corps / U.S. Navy
“The nature of military service provides an environment to develop people that is difficult to replicate by any other experience. During my military service, I certainly learned technical skills, however, the experiences that shaped me most were about values, personal accountability, leadership, and the importance of culture. The leadership skills I learned during my military service definitely helped me achieve success in my early operation’s roles and has served as a foundation for my Caterpillar leadership journey.” - Ryan Gustafson, Vice President Earthmoving Operations, Caterpillar Armed Forces Network Advisor Board Member, U.S. Marines
“Veterans know that mistakes can have deadly consequences, so they are committed to taking responsibility for their behavior and striving for excellence. Veterans provide diversity throughout the organization through the experiences they have had in their careers. They can cascade those experiences through other team members allowing them to have a high aptitude for growth in the company, mentor and lead others, and make strategic and tactical decisions.” – Lacey Dilbeck, Supply Chain Planning, U.S. Air Force
“My leadership experience and lessons learnt in the military, which I aim to apply at Caterpillar: lead by example, listen to and learn from your team, empower everybody in the team to make decisions – hence delegate authority, accept mistakes but learn from them. Caterpillar provides an inclusive environment and a culture of belonging similar to the military. I feel appreciated, and I am honoured to work along so many fellow veterans from all around the world who share the same spirit.” – Gösta Albrecht, Sales Manager, German Army
“Working with Caterpillar defense closely relates to my military experience. When we serve our customers in the defense sector, we understand their demands, constraints, and military jargon, which helps us respond effectively. National defense dictates a country’s survival and having the right people, knowledge and tools is important. That in turn, applies to working at Caterpillar. In today’s world, where things are moving very fast, we need to unlearn and relearn to survive. We need to continue to upskill ourselves so that the company stays on top of situations.” – Alan Chan, Account Manager, Singapore Air Force & Army Reserves
“Sometimes, as a military spouse, it’s easy to lose your sense of self in the midst of everything else going on. Having my own career at a company that supported my husband’s service gave me something to hold on to during times when it felt like everything else was up in the air.” – Amy Kim, Senior Strategy Analyst, Military Spouse
As the proud Executive Sponsor of the Armed Forced Support Network (AFSN), I am excited to celebrate National Veterans & Military Family Month this November and Veterans, Armistice and Remembrance Day on November 11.
I am here to support the brave men and women who serve their countries. I also champion AFSN’s mission to develop veterans to deliver exceptional results at Caterpillar, enable Caterpillar to make the best use of veteran talent, and give back to communities through volunteer efforts.
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. I think no matter what their service backgrounds are, each veteran around the world has experienced what it means to be part of a successful team and has a high degree of excellence in their individual work.
I’m also incredibly proud of the many spouses of service members who are part of Caterpillar. Those individuals make many 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. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed.
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. I encourage others to thank a service member today and get involved in AFSN to support our mission. The work AFSN does matters – in the community and around the world.
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