Celebrating Veterans Day/Rememberance Day
November 11, 2021
In the US, Nov. 11 is observed as Veterans Day, honoring military veterans who have served in the armed forces. In Canada the holiday is known as Remembrance Day, honoring armed forces members who have died in the line of duty. Today we highlight three of the many veterans among our employee owners who brought their military service and skills to Ulteig.
Describe your military service.
Paula Nystrom, Senior Project Manager: I served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication’s Officer with MWCS – 28 (Marine Wing Communications Squadron) stationed in Cherry Point, NC. I also served in the reserves at a detachment in Miami, FL.
Caleb Rockwell, Designer-Substation: I served in the Air Force from 2002 to 2007. I was stationed at Moody Air Force Base in south Georgia and deployed to Qatar for about four months. I then moved to Eielson Air Force Base outside of Fairbanks, AK, where I deployed to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan for about four months. I am a veteran of OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) and OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom).
Michael Dodor, Senior IT Support Specialist: I served in the Marine Corps from 1980-1984 as an avionics technician assigned to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 31 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC. I had deployments to Japan, Korea, Philippines, Denmark, Iceland, UK and numerous states throughout the US as well as Puerto Rico.
How did you first decide to join the military?
Paula: I was always taught the importance of giving back to my family, friends, community and felt it was my patriotic duty to serve my country.
Caleb: I come from a long line of military service and a lot of my family has served in one branch or another. Entering service was always one of the options I considered since elementary school and was in Air Force ROTC in high school. Ultimately, I got tired of Sacramento (born and raised here), and college wasn’t working out great so I decided to enlist to get experience and travel—grow up.
Michael: Armed with a solid C average in high school and no real plan after graduation, I figured the Marines would provide a little discipline, develop skills in the electronics field (which I always enjoyed tinkering in), get some free travel, earn a little money and be part of a team.
How did your military service shape your career goals?
Paula: The training and leadership experience was invaluable. My first “job” in the Marine Corps was as a platoon commander, where my primary focus and responsibility was the health and welfare of the Marines in my platoon. That experience opened doors for me as a leader in the military and in the civilian sector.
Caleb: I was a data analyst and a database manager in the Air Force and since we were under-utilized, I was terribly bored most of the time, but I learned some good skills related to logic, statistics, data analysis, and database design. That got me my first electrical engineering internship working heavily with NERC PRC-005 compliance for the California Department of Water Resources protection group. My electrical engineering career choice had nothing to do with my military service, but my military career taught me what I wanted out of a career and gave me experience and knowledge necessary to produce quality engineering work—specifically, an attention to detail.
Michael: It provided a solid technical foundation in servicing electronics and computerized devices and the desire to continue to learn and grow in that field. It also taught me the importance of being a motivated, flexible, positive member of a team working toward a common goal. Being part of a team/unit also provides personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
Thanks to Paula, Caleb and Michael – and to all Ulteig veterans for your service.