On November 11, we observe Veterans Day in the United States, an annual holiday recognizing those who have served in the armed forces and have made a significant commitment to their country. We employ hundreds of veterans, with eight percent of our U.S. workforce self-identifying as having served in the military. Our veterans apply their unique skillsets and capabilities to their civilian careers with us at Lam Research – responding to challenges with agility and fortitude.
“I joined the military at 18 years old and served 20 years of active duty in the U.S. Navy,” says Jose Gutierrez, laboratory service engineer, Lab Operations. “I have gained all my work and life experience from the military.”
“My parents immigrated to the U.S. to escape the civil war in El Salvador. Coming to this country changed our lives tremendously, and as a natural-born citizen, because of what my parents went through, I felt the urge to give back,” says Jose. When he first began his career with the U.S. Navy, he was an apprentice-level SONAR technician on submarines with a specialty in the maintenance and operations of SONAR systems. During his twenty years, Jose rotated through four different submarines and two shore commands. His first shore command was particularly exciting – he worked for the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, which managed the installation of under-ice equipment used to help submarines navigate under and surface through the Arctic’s polar ice caps.
“There’s no direct connection between SONAR and Lam,” jokes Jose. “But a lot of the skills I learned were transferable. In the military, I was doing maintenance on electronic equipment and electromechanical systems, and a lot of it was troubleshooting. So, if a piece of equipment went down, part of my job was to repair the system and get it up and running, which is basically what I do here at Lam. The operations are different, but the maintenance and troubleshooting require the same principles.”
Beyond the hard skills that support his day-to-day job, Jose also mentioned that mentoring and training others are soft skills that have carried over into his civilian career.
Military culture was something Sean Pasin, employee relations specialist, HR Operations, was familiar with at a young age since he grew up near an active U. S. Naval Air Station. Throughout his childhood, he had a group of friends who loved military movies and games, but his real motivation to join the U.S. Army was his belief that it would teach him new skills and that he would be able to contribute his strong work ethic to a team that could make a real impact.
“For most of my career, I worked in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, the legal corps of the Army,” says Sean.
Like Jose, Sean says that mentoring and guiding others were the biggest skills that he’s carried over to his civilian career.
“What I took most from my time there is how we addressed challenges and worked together to follow rules and regulations to do what was right,” says Sean. “Watching complex decision-making was a great framework for me to put into practice later in my military career. Having wonderful soldiers lead the way for me and mentor me helped strengthen my ability to mentor others in a way where I can understand their perspective and have the clarity to guide mentees to see a bigger picture of the challenges they’re facing.”
On behalf of all employees at Lam, thank you for your courage and sacrifice.