IMPERIAL — Local veterans from all branches of the United States military were honored Tuesday, May 12, at the 2015 Veterans Appreciation Reception. The annual event took place at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Imperial at lunchtime.
The event honored the American Operations Corporation(AOC) with the coveted Veteran Employment Committee’s “Employee of the Year Award.” Robert Carlos, Project Manager for AOC was on hand to receive the award.
“It is an honor to give back (to the vets),” Carlos acknowledged in his accepting remarks. “Veterans bring a lot to the table (as employees,” he furthered. “They know our culture and mission,” he said.
“We have three managers who are key players on our team for daily decisions who started out as entry level workers, all of whom are veterans,” Carlos praised.
Receiving the award for the third time, the AOC was praised by the Veterans Employment Committee for going “above and beyond” in their support of veterans. They hold a policy to interview 100% of veterans who apply for jobs in their organization, the Committee claimed. Currently, veterans comprise 33% of AOC’s workforce, totaling 64 working veterans out of a pool of 295.
CDR Adam Schlismann, of the United States Navy who serves as the Executive Officer of the NAF El Centro was the keynote speaker for the event. Schlismann praised veterans for sharing similar traits gained from service in the military, that serve well in the public workplace. He posited work ethic, versatility, competence, team work, and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone as the key factors that make veterans outstanding employees.
“All are traits that employees look for; they assist in any business, and the military does an excellent job in preparing one for that,” Schlismann stated.
The audience was rapt with attention as Schlismann shared his personal experience in stepping outside his comfort zone and learning team work through his time in the Navy. “After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh as a History major, I became an aviator in the Navy, before becoming an aircraft defense officer, before going to Germany to work for a 4-star admiral, before being stationed here at this base,” he said.
“It becomes second nature to ask questions, and to adapt quickly,” he stated. “These traits are all learned through the military and are what veterans bring to the table.”
The event began with a lunch banquet and ended with a raffle. The Committee would like to thank the VEC, EAC, Home Depot, Lucky’s, Target, and Baja Runners for their generous contributions to the event.