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Operations Manager & Marine Veteran
“I am very proud to be at a company that realizes the value and renewable talent that those who served can bring to an organization that consistently strives for excellence.”
Rich’s combat experience with the United States Marine Corps enabled him to gain leadership and problem-solving skills under pressure. Now at Amazon, Rich leads a team as an Operations Manager.
SAN MARCOS, TX – For many veterans who served in the United States military, combat situations often become crucibles through which an individual’s life can be shaped for years to come. The brave few who have fought in combat – including veteran Rich – know the lasting impact that these experiences can have, both personally and professionally.
At the fulfillment center in San Marcos, Texas, Rich leads his team as an Area Manager with the Pathways Operations Program. His job requires strong problem-solving and analytical skills as well as proficiency in interpersonal communication and leadership acumen. Above all, Rich remains calm under pressure as he oversees the delivery of thousands of Amazon orders to customers and supports daily operations management responsibilities.
As a Marine and former military aviator, Rich says his combat experience helps him every day in his civilian career with Amazon.
“My military experience helps me maintain a calm and collected demeanor when days get hectic,” he says. “Having combat experience and having been through high-risk situations has allowed me to leverage the ability to make decisions, not all of them perfect, to deal with pop-up situations.”
While much is expected from leaders in the Area Manager role, Rich notes, “My experience helps me manage my time, prioritize action items, and mentor others.”
The Military Recruiting Team (MRT) at Amazon asked Rich (RC) to share his advice with veterans transitioning from the military to the workforce after his own journey from the Marine Corps to a civilian career.
Here’s more from his success story and what he wants all transitioning veterans to know:
MRT: What was your onboarding experience like?
RC: The onboarding experience has been great thus far . . . I am part of a building that is awaiting a launch, so we’ve had prep time. For example, during my first week, our entire cohort met for the first time – that’s 117 managers! There were a lot of people, a wide array of ages and very diverse experiences.
MRT: What is it like to work at Amazon as a veteran?
RC: Being at Amazon has made me feel that my skills and military experience offer a very different skill set than college or industry hires. I can say with certainty that there is a vast amount of leadership that I and other veterans bring to the table that is needed for quick decision-making, initiative and accountability. I’ve been asked many times if I am a veteran, more than I’ve ever suggested simply sharing the information.
MRT: That’s incredible that your work ethic from the military shines so much at a company like Amazon.
RC: I am very proud to be at a company that realized the value and renewable talent that those who served can bring to an organization that consistently strives for excellence.
MRT: You’ve volunteered for the Warrior Ambassador Program (an opportunity for Amazon’s veterans to mentor student veterans near their Amazon workplace). What inspired you to help out in this way?
RC: I am extremely passionate about being a veteran advocate! I’ve worked with tons of organizations volunteering my time to help veterans approaching a transition. The transition can be a disorienting, confusing and intimidating experience. Without people explicitly trying to help give you the tools for a successful transition, some may feel that their experience doesn’t translate well to the private sector. But it does! I will always do anything and everything I can to help.
MRT: If you knew one thing before transitioning that would have made your experience easier, what would that be?
RC: We all have our “complaints” about the military and some of the leadership within it, but once you are on the outside, you can see that the same rigidity, standards and camaraderie are hard to come by. That said, when we come out of the military, we need to humbly assume leadership roles where informal vacancies exist.
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