Memorial Day - We Will Always Remember

This Memorial Day, we honor all who have died while serving in the armed forces. Our country would not be the same without the sacrifice our service men and women make every day and we are eternally grateful. 

It is also a time to reflect on the impact our veterans make in our society and workplace. At Modo Networks, our veteran team members bring their unique military experience to work every day to help our business thrive. 

Our own, Mitch Cottrell is a proud veteran and shares how he brings traits and disciplines learned in the service into the work environment every day. 

I am truly blessed to work with a team in an organization with the culture that allows us all to succeed.  There are several veterans that work around me daily and our experience gives us a common bond when dealing with stress or process.  Stress can affect people in so many ways and knowing some of those ways can help when working with a team.  Taking the time to understand someone is struggling with personal issues or physical ailments can be key to success.

Veteran organizations bring to the table some fundamental differences that other organizations often struggle with.  The leadership dynamic taught in the military is a team mentality, however they stress that the leaders are who to emulate.  This is done through establishing standards in leadership such as in the U.S. Army’s NCO Creed.  This creed outlines what it means to be a leader in U.S Army.  This enables the leaders in the military to have something to fall back on when there is a grey area or when faced with on the fly decisions that are time sensitive.

Difficult times require fortitude to ensure you have the gumption to push through and make things happen.  In the service industry, it is difficult to translate how a veteran impacts a team.  It is hard to quantify a veteran’s leadership experience and ability to drive people when working with stress and short timeframes.  

Having a veteran in your organization can brings some of the following qualities from their military experience:

My Top 5 Things I Learned In The Military

1. Army Values – LDRSHIP

  • Loyalty – Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army, you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit.
  • Duty – Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities — all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product.
  • Respect – Treat people as they should be treated. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute.
  • Selfless Service – Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.
  • Honor – Live up to Army values. The Nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living — Soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.
  • Integrity – Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.
  • Personal Courage – Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.

2. Training 

There are different ways to train people but it is a leader’s job to ensure they have the training and tools to be successful.

3. Equal Opportunity 

This has been engrained in everyone through the values. We all start on an equal playing field.

4. Mental and Physical Toughness 

  • Have you ever made a phone call to tell someone some important news? Veterans have made phone calls, while under direct or indirect fire, having to communicate meticulous details without error to ensure they can get support for their team.

5. Soldiers First / Mission Always

  • Soldiers First – If you take care of your people then the job will take care of itself.
  • Mission Always – whatever you are faced with you must always focus or drive toward accomplishing the final goal.

You may not have noticed but the Army Values support all the other items that I listed.  This is something that our military understands.  Everyone comes from a different place whether culture, religion, ethics or morals everyone has a different perspective on how to handle situations.  In the service, they focus on educating everyone to a general standard so that the unit is on the same page.  Sometimes there are challenges, but for the most part it sets the playing field with a ruleset that allows everyone the chance to succeed.

I still remember one of my Non-Commissioned Officers telling me that the hardest part of life is doing the right thing when no one is around to see it.  This is what every Soldier is expected to do, when they are pulling 24-hour guard and everyone is depending on them to stay awake.  Or when you’re going on day 7 of next to no sleep and your team is depending on you for a critical task. As a result, integrity is ingrained in deep within a soldier. 

Everyone takes pride in their accomplishments, not many take pride in volunteering.   In the military, it used to be a little awkward when someone would walk up and thank me for my service.  I thought “I am just doing my job”.  Now that I have been out of the service for years I do want to thank everyone that served or continues to serve.

Being a Veteran there was a quote I heard while I was in the service and for years now since I have been out.  “All gave some, and some gave all”.  Memorial Day reminds me every year; it brings me back to a different place mentally and emotionally.  I think of family, friends, and fellow patriots that I will never share a laugh or story with ever again.  

On behalf of Modo Networks thank you to everyone for their service and we hope that all our service men and women make it home to their families safely.

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