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What Stream Data Centers Has to Show for Hundreds of Combined Years in Military Service

What Stream Data Centers Has to Show for Hundreds of Combined Years in Military Service

Ask the U.S. government to outline important things to know about Veterans Day and you’ll get answers like “it’s NOT spelled with an apostrophe” and “it’s NOT the same as Memorial Day (those are their capitalizations, not ours — and here’s the proof). Ask Reader’s Digest, and you’ll get fun facts about how some people wanted to rename it Mayflower Day or how other countries like Belgium celebrate Remembrance Day on the same date.

All fair points. But if you ask us what the important parts of this annual holiday are, our own veterans will give you much different (and arguably much more salient) answers.

Since November 11 is right around the corner, we think that there’s no better group to ask about this holiday and its ties to our world of data centers and IT than our proudly veteran-rich Stream Team. In fact, once we started digging, we realized there’s a lot to say about how this special population contributes on a daily basis to innovation, security and safety — so watch out Reader’s Digest, because we think this is the kind of thing people should actually know…

What is Veterans Day Really About?
We firmly believe that celebrating military veterans with holidays like this one, while important, is only one small part of what it means to truly honor the sacrifice and skills of these individuals. Thanking a vet — as is the well-worn call on November 11 — just doesn’t cover it. Honestly, doing just that might even be a disservice to the amazing abilities this population has.

Instead, we think that finding ways to harness and celebrate veterans’ unique perspectives, experiences and assets in a setting where they can truly add value is one of the greatest things we can do to honor the work these brave individuals have done, while supporting our customers with the best of mission-critical services.

So, helping these unique attributes shine is what we strive to do every single day (and we think that anyone not leveraging this uniquely talented workforce is missing out). Here’s how our own SVP of Operations and U.S. Navy veteran Chris D. Jackson puts it: “If you are not aware of military talent and actively pursuing that talent in this fast-paced world, you are going to drown not knowing you were surrounded by life rafts.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. But let’s talk about what makes this fine group of individuals important to celebrate and highlight at work and on holidays like Veterans Day. At Stream, we see the data center and critical infrastructure industry offering a lot of mutually-advantageous synergies for ex-military individuals, which makes it a great place to leverage particular skills that veterans bring to the table. What does that look like in action?

Finding Critical Infrastructure Commonalities
Isaac Wiechmann (who has a past on the USS Nimitz and nuclear regional maintenance department in Groton, CT), now a Lead Critical Engineering Technician at Stream, notes, “Veterans are used to working with others, staying mission focused, and listening to orders without blindly following directions.” Similarly, Dietrick Carraway, LCET (who has served at Camp Casey, TDC, Korea and Fort Benning), acknowledges that military professionals are trained to deal with high-pressure situations, making them perfect for a high-stakes job empowering hyperscale goals, mission-critical applications and more.

Joe Williams, a Senior Project Manager here at Stream (and someone who has served across the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Liberia, Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan), recalls a notable lesson learned that he still keeps with him in his day-to-day work here. He states, “A lesson I learned was the absolute need for ‘decentralized command.’ That is to say, the General didn’t accompany me in carrying out orders, nor did he require my report. Instead, the General shared the ‘Big Picture’ with the Battalion Commander. Battalion shared the mission/big picture with the Company and Division and so on. In civilian terms, this is called empowering your reports and trusting them to do their job. Give the parameters, and destination, and allow them to make decisions and coach them along the way.”

Leadership, attention to detail, work ethic, detail-orientedness and a drive to ‘get things done’ are among the other top skills in this arena — and we see those in action from our post-military team every day. These are individuals that know the mission, understand the values and envision the end goals, and at Stream, they’re free to employ their skills and perspectives to get there in the way that suits those initiatives best.

Of course, us being proud of our workforce is only one half of the equation. At Stream, our team taking pride in the work they do is just as important, and our team of veterans certainly has a lot to be proud of. From Carraway becoming a team lead and Williams managing a data center renovation and expansion to the delight of the tenant to Wiechmann being a training champion and Jackson remaining responsible for our growing Operations Family, it’s clear these individuals are at the top of their game.

Finding Your Future
We see Veterans Day as more than just an opportunity to celebrate the sacrifices and service of veterans across the U.S. — we see it as our chance to help tell the stories of these individuals and encourage even more opportunity for them throughout our industry. So, we asked our team what they think the data center world can do to help this population find success after their service, and it comes down to something rather simple.

Create an environment where unique experiences like those from veterans are valued and can be leaned on — and then search for those experiences with intent. Williams notes, “Spend the time to understand what is translatable from a vet’s experience and incorporate their DNA into your culture and work needs.” Once they’re in your ranks, Jackson gives the tip to over communicate and leverage their team-oriented experience.

For veterans looking to find their new stride in this industry, a survey of our team returns two words of advice: Don’t hesitate.

At Stream, we take our team camaraderie, dedication and appreciation for the work of our teams seriously, both inside and outside the data center. More than one third of our Stream Team together has logged hundreds of combined years in active U.S. Military service, and that’s a record that we never forget. When we find individuals and teams that reflect those values, it’s a match made in heaven for everyone involved — and for that, we’re grateful every day.

Here’s what we think is the most important thing to know about this holiday: For service and excellence at this level, every day should be Veterans Day.