Proximity to Arlington National Cemetery was one benefit of having lived and worked ‘Inside the Beltway’ in a previous life. If you’re inclined to celebrate Veterans Day, there’s hardly a better spot to do so.
My hunch is that many of you are so inclined. For various reasons, former military personnel seem disproportionately well-represented in the telecommunications field.
Technology is an obvious link. In the early days, those who had learned the art and science of radio detection and ranging, such as our former editor-in-chief Rex Porter, who spent eight years as radar operator in the U.S. Air Force, could easily transition into working with microwave and other RF technologies that the young cable industry was exploiting.
(Rex also did newspaper writing on the side and had plans to become a writer, but that’s another story.)
Conscription accounts for a large number of veterans found among those Americans who joined the labor force during the Vietnam War era. For the case of Jim Chiddix, see this month’s cover story.
Veterans quietly populate the ranks of industry’s younger leadership as well. In an interview after Cable-Tec Expo, this year’s SCTE Member of the Year Ronald Brunt mentioned that he had served in the U.S. Air Force and then drew some interesting comparisons between military and cable work.
In Atlanta for the SCTE symposium on business services, I caught up with ARRIS TeleWire VP of Marketing and Business Development (and former U.S. Marine Corps officer) Tom Williams, who happened to be coordinating a shipment of cable equipment to service personnel in Iraq, and discussed industry trends with Scientific-Atlanta VP, TNS, Strategy Development and Execution (and U.S. Naval Academy graduate) John Morrow.
The demands and challenges of military and government service are not entirely unknown to the core members of the CT editorial team. Aware that Veterans Day has come and gone and begging some forbearance from our non-U.S. readers, we’d like to salute and thank those veterans among you who have faced and met those challenges.