On Veterans Day and as the United States Marine Corps celebrates its 246th birthday, we are honored to work alongside some of the best and brightest who have served our country. While Ontic has experienced tremendous growth over the past year, so too has the number of Ontic employees who served in the military, with veterans making up nearly 10% of our total employee headcount today.
Last year, we featured three Marine Corps veterans: Conor Camicia, Director of Business Development, Scott Shepherd, Chief Legal Counsel, and Travis Lishok, Associate Director of the Center for Protective Intelligence. They remain valuable members of the Ontic team and are joined by several veteran peers whose perspectives are spotlighted below.
Fueled by a Mission
Each veteran at Ontic brings a distinct experience and perspective to their work every day; however, the mission of ‘protecting others’ holds true for all. “Ontic is no ordinary organization. We’re not providing software that serves a mundane purpose. We are providing software that makes the world a safer place for us and our loved ones. I believe that’s why Ontic has attracted so many veterans and why we have achieved the success we have,” shares Ryan Burkovich, Information Security Specialist. Just five days after Ryan graduated from high school, he left for the Marine Corps Bootcamp at MCRD, San Diego.
Brendan Quigley, Sales Development Representative and former Captain of the United States Army, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), was motivated to find a company where the employees were like teammates working towards a common goal. “It doesn’t matter where you reside within the company — sales, marketing, client success, product — everyone has the goal of serving intelligence to those who protect,” shares Brendan. He is the third Army EOD Tech to join the Ontic team.
The pace of work at Ontic isn’t for everyone but often aligns well with the experience of those who have served. “Military experience translates well into working at a startup such as Ontic, as the dynamic environment forces creativity and resourcefulness. Following my injuries from the military, Ontic’s mission gives me a new opportunity to protect and serve others who need it the most,” shares Josh Latham, Security Compliance Analyst. He was medically retired in 2016, and as more time goes on, the more he can reflect on his experiences and training.
Regardless of your background, there’s a lot we can all learn from our military community. Below we’ve shared five key lessons from our veteran Onticians.
Five Lessons from Ontic’s Veterans
Punctuality: One of the main lessons Ryan Burkovich learned while in the military was the importance of punctuality. Ryan says, “There is more behind punctuality than just showing up on time so you don’t get in trouble. It shows that you respect the time of the people you work with, it shows you care about the job or task you are there to accomplish, and most importantly, it shows you are trustworthy and dependable.”
Move forward: Sometimes things just don’t work out, and that is okay. “When facing adversity, the most important thing is to keep moving forward — one foot in front of the other — and find a new approach,” shares Josh Latham.
Be comfortable with discomfort: It’s important not to be afraid of what you don’t know and ask questions. “A mistake I made during my first week at Ontic was trying to learn it all at once. My manager, who is also a veteran, could see it and said, “Hey… Crawl, Walk, Run. You got this,” recalls Brendan Quigley. Brendan’s manager, Conor Camcia, was a U.S. Marine Corp in the 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment and served overseas in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Value of time: In many ways, military service gave Keith Pickering, Sales Development Representative and Marine Corps veteran, a deeper appreciation for life. “Time with family is precious, the mission behind your day job matters, and the only time to take a chance on something incredible is now,” Keith shares. For more visibility on Keith’s perspective, see his post on LinkedIn.
Put others first: In the Army, everything you do is part of a team according to Sarah Corbin, Client Success Manager. Every day you have to show up, giving it your all because those teammates are depending on you. “[To be successful] it takes all of us serving in a way that is bigger than our individual accomplishments,” shares Sarah, who goes on to say, “I’ve carried that with me both in my personal and professional lives: continually showing up, putting in the work and trying to set those who come after me further up the starting line that I was.”
For those who have served our country and are looking to transition from the public sector, look for an organization where you can bring your whole self to work each day, continuing purpose-driven work. “When transitioning from the military earlier this year, I came across hundreds of people willing to help by introducing the right paths, programs, and people to make my transition successful,” Keith Pickering shares.
If you want to do more than just give thanks this week, Keith encourages reaching out to a veteran and asking how you can help, and says, “You’ll be surprised how easy it can be to change a life.”