On Veteran’s Day this year, Kobie is recognizing and celebrating our heroic teammates who have served, or are currently serving, in the US Military. Veterans show remarkable bravery and dedication to our country. Thank you to all of our veteran teammates! We took some time to honor and highlight a few of them.
What motivated you to join the military?
Todd: My biggest motivation for joining the US Navy was my father. I grew up with him in uniform (US Navy). My father and I actually served on Active Duty together in Norfolk, VA (at separate commands) from 1993-1996 until he retired with 30 years active service in 1996.
Craig: I was motivated to join because of a strong urge to serve, the need for a sense of direction, and the search for a challenge in life.
Rob: I felt that for me the military was the best route to go in growing up. This forced me at 18 to move away from home and have to rely on myself across the world from my family.
How long was your service?
Todd: My service has been from 1993 until current, making my total service at this point nearly 28 years. I was active duty from enlistment until 2000 timeframe and reserves from 2000 until current.
Craig: I served for 13 years.
Rob: I served for four years from 2005 to 2009.
Where did you spend the majority of time in service?
Todd: I spent a large portion of my military time in the Virginia Beach area, although I have deployed many times worldwide including the Bosnian war and the third Iraq war.
Craig: I spent most of my service at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC.
Rob: My main duty station was on Marine Corps base Kaneohe Bay that is on the island of Oahu. I also served a tour overseas in 2007 in southern Iraq outside the city of Nasiriyah.
What rank are you most proud to have earned, and why?
Todd: Probably getting promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 2003, and then promoted to officer ranks the following year in 2004. Currently, I am hoping to be promoted from Lieutenant Commander to Commander this year… we shall see.
Craig: I left the Army at the rank of Sergeant First Class, but I felt a lot of pride and a sense of achievement each step along the way.
Rob: When I was discharged from the military, I was the rank of Petty Officer Third Class (E-4); however, I am most proud to have earned the Navy Marine Crops Achievement Medal for my tour of service overseas.
What was the best and worst ‘military’ food you were served, and why?
Todd: I’d say the worst was anytime you had to live on MRE’s for an extended period of time. The best was my time in Iraq on my 3rd and final tour there. I was detailed to the CIA and they have some great chefs for their deployed staff.
Craig: Tough one, but I recall truly, completely enjoying a week or two of gorging on junk food after finishing a certain 3-month Army Leadership course where you were limited to 1 meal a day. As far as the worst food goes, I would narrow that down to certain times when circumstances resulted in no food being available. So, no food = worst food.
Rob: The best military food I was ever served was steak & seafood nights in Iraq. The worst food I was served had to be an MRE, just because well, it’s not good!
How has your military experience shaped your life today?
Todd: I wouldn’t be who I am today without the military. The military gives you discipline and fortitude to excel (or survive) in all conditions. I have seen the world (a lot of it) with my own eyes, both the best of humanity, and the very worst of humanity. Being able to remedy some of the worst of humanity with direct action and keeping the world a little safer with my fellow service members is worth the sacrifices over the years.
Craig: I would say that it formed me into the person I am today. For myself, the general things which stuck with me was learning the cruciality of teamwork, how to lead in stressful times, an understanding that the most effective tool in the world is the 6 inches between your ears, knowing that tough times can go way faster when you keep your sense of humor, and the universal truth that if you think you’re beat, then you are; however, most importantly I met my wife on one of the trips Uncle Sam sent me on. (She made me put this here, by the way- ha ha!).
Rob: My military experience has made me appreciate the small things in life. I have witnessed first-hand how a vast majority of the world lives and can now appreciate how lucky we are to have what we have in America.
At Kobie, we love recognizing what makes our teammates unique. To show our commitment and to help support these teammates, we offer military leave benefits, which pays three-weeks of paid time for those who are in the reserves. This means our teammates are able to continue to serve honorably while working at Kobie. It is our privilege and honor to celebrate our veterans!