How Military Skills Translate Into the Workforce

And why Brinks Home is a veteran-friendly workplace


MAY 28, 2021


From 2000 to 2015, more than 650,000 servicemembers left the U.S. military, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. When servicemembers re-enter the workforce, their military service has often equipped them with unique skillsets that often translate well into the corporate environment. At Brinks Home™, we offer training, support, and employee resource groups to help support veterans as they re-integrate — because we know their experiences can help us better serve our customers and each other. We recently sat down with our own Wade Gibson, senior vice president, Network Sales, to ask some questions about how his military service impacts his leadership style, work habits, and more.

Q: You served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and deployed to the Horn of Africa, right? What was that like?

Wade: It was a tough but super rewarding experience. My team tracked threats against U.S. embassies across East Africa, and we had a quick reaction force (QRF) we could send to reinforce embassies that were in trouble — I actually arrived in-country during the middle of one of those operations. We protected a lot of our fellow Americans and allies, and protecting people is my top organizing life principle.

I also met an amazing group of people on deployment — people I still talk to all the time, even though I haven’t seen them in years. It cushioned, a little bit, the pain of being away from my family for 13 months, but that was really, really hard. I deployed one time, and I’m so impressed at my colleagues who successfully managed six, seven, and eight deployments.

Q: How does your military background affect how you approach leadership and the corporate environment?

Wade: I had a boss on my deployment (this phenomenally impressive U.S. Army colonel) and he was a role model for me. He was a constant promoter and enabler of the people in our unit — we knew he had our back so that we could go out and be the most awesome versions of ourselves. And, he was also a ferocious advocate for his people and our work in the broader command — which made us work even harder.

That is what I try to accomplish for our authorized dealers, and my sales team. I have an amazing team — we have people who owned their own dealerships, ran major marketing campaigns, and worked as installers and customer care agents. Collectively, my team has over 200 years of experience in every element of this business. Meanwhile, our authorized dealers have built their own successful businesses, hand-in-hand with us for years. I am here to promote and enable my team and our dealers, and to be their advocate in the rest of the organization. Brinks Home wouldn’t exist without them.

Q: What’s the most useful skill that cross-applies from your Navy days to your corporate career?

Wade: I was an intelligence officer, so I worked 12 hours/day, 6-7 days/week analyzing data and making assessments. I spent 3-4 hours each day reading message traffic — the combined output of everything from CIA to NSA to FBI on my countries — then I spent the rest of the day working with my team on their assessments and briefing the command. It was all data, all the time, and our value-add was to be able to glean insights that the other 1,400 people in the command didn’t have. We had to be faster, smarter, more rigorous, less biased analysts and decisionmakers.

There is so much data at Brinks Home, or at any company, and analyzing it accurately and quickly is crucial. I love doing it, and I think my Navy experience has made me much better at it.

Q: What is it about military service that prepares people for a career in the smart security industry?

Wade: To me, it is about protecting people, committing absolutely on behalf of someone else. The military ingrains that in you from Day 1, and I think you never lose that commitment. The times in my career when I haven’t been protecting people, when I’ve just been pushing paper, I’ve felt so strongly that I could be doing more. Life is so short; you’ve got to spend it doing something that matters.

Q: What, in your opinion, makes Brinks Home a great place to work for veterans?

Wade: We give veterans the opportunity to keep protecting people, first and foremost. We also give them the opportunity to apply some of their military learnings in the civilian world. I spent a lot of time learning about perimeter security, as many others in the military did, and that is a useful skill in the smart security industry. The military also requires sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines — everyone — to work at the intersection of technology and operations. Well, we do that all the time at Brinks Home too — it is the essence of smart home technology. Brinks Home, on some level, allows veterans to keep doing what they’ve already been doing.

Interested in working for Brinks Home? View our current open positions.

Ananda Boardman is the manager of PR & communications for Brinks Home. She’s passionate about sharing the benefits of smart home security with her fellow North Americans.

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