WIA salutes the wireless infrastructure industry’s military veterans

As the nation pauses in November to honor our veterans and reflect on the sacrifices each of them have made for our freedom, the Wireless Infrastructure Association also recognizes the many U.S. military veterans who have transitioned into civilian careers in our industry.

Service in the military builds a variety of skills that translate well into careers in the telecom industry – communication, problem-solving, teamwork and perseverance, to name a few. Likewise, the wireless industry offers meaningful jobs that are a good fit for veterans, from climbing towers to designing networks and leading projects, teams and companies.

As the nation recognizes the contributions and sacrifices of all veterans throughout history and today, WIA salutes all of the veterans working hard to keep our communities connected and is proud to support them. We asked veterans working at our member companies to reflect upon their service and what they learned during their time in the military that prepared them for their eventual career path. Read their thoughts below.

Brian Corrigan

Director – Solutions Engineering, ExteNet Systems
US Navy – EW2 (Electronic Warfare Technician – 2nd Class Petty Officer)

“The military has mastered the bridge between competitiveness and cooperation. More specifically how to instill individual drive while at the same time having everyone in lockstep as a team and for the team. This is how I manage myself and is the expectation I’ve set with my teams to a great degree of success.”


Ken Deatrick

Sr. NOC Tier 2 Engineer, ExteNet Systems
Air Force, Sergeant (E4)

“It’s a small Industry, When someone leaves, it’s not good bye, but good bye for now.”


Nathan French

Project Manager, ExteNet Systems
Staff Sargent

“If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.”


Hanri Glemaud

OSP Construction Manager, ExteNet Systems
Marine Corps – Sergeant (E5)

“I can’t think of anything I experienced that hasn’t been of some assistance in this industry. If I had to choose one thing, it would have to be the importance of being patient. Especially when dealing with multiple groups/contractors/agencies as we do. A lack of patience hinders your ability to listen.”


Terrance Glover

Field Sales Vice President, T-Mobile
E4 Specialist, U.S. Army

“The military showed me that details matter when executing any plan. You must adapt and overcome when the plan is not working and no matter what, you must never give up until you get the job done. Since joining T-Mobile, I’ve been encouraged to bring these skills to my role and empower other Veterans at the company to do the same.” 


Everardo “Ed” Gonzalez

Corning Optical Communications
Sergeant (E5) United States Marine Corps

“I was trained in communications and always live by the motto: The key to success in battle is effective communications.”


Dr. Harry E. Johnson Sr. 

Director of Customer Solution Engineering, Federated Wireless 
MAJ Retired,  U.S. Army Infantry Officer

“Teamwork. Success requires a team effort. At Federated Wireless, I am part of a distributed team. Though we work in different sections and locations, I consider everyone a teammate. I support them and I know they support me even when I am not present.”


Keith Mandoske

Operations and Business Development, Westchester Services, LLC
Engineman Second Class, United States Navy

“I learned that anything is possible with hard work and determination. And that a strong commitment to excellence is paramount to success.”


Daniel Means

CAD Chief Designer and CAD Manager, Tilson
Corporal (E-4), United States Marine Corps, 0331 – Infantry Machine Gunner

“My military experiences have guided my performance, behavior, and conduct throughout my wireless industry career by holding me accountable for my actions, giving me the strength and resiliency to overcome any challenge, and committing myself to complete any task given to me.”


Joe Medina

Construction Manager (Southwest OSP), ExteNet Systems

“Something that I learned through my service was that regardless of how low or high on the totem pole a person is, their role and position are essential and critical to the success of any mission or set of tasks. If even the smallest and seemingly unimportant part of the team is not in line with the rest, then it all falls apart and will surely end in some degree of failure.”

Keith Miller

Project Manager — FSL, Network Connex
E4 specialist, United States Army Reserves and Army National Guard

“I served as a mechanic in the military.  I learned how important teamwork is to your success as well as reliability, discipline, and the importance of being punctual.”


Kaili Nawahine

Market Director – OSP West, ExteNet Systems
Section Chief for U.S. Army Information Systems Command/Military Intelligence

“Military taught me the value of teamwork and always completing your mission … no excuses!”


David Lee Ninemire

Manager, PMO, Corning Optical Communications – WLS BU
E-4, United States Army

“My experience in the military prepared me for the wireless industry by teaching me how to work in fast-paced, diverse, and dynamic environments.  It also helped hone my communication methods with teams across different functional areas.”


Jay Wirts

President, Smart Buildings, Belden
Captain, USMC

“I learned a lot about leadership and teamwork in the Marine Corps, and that has helped me in my career. The Marine Corps teaches that leadership is about two main things:

1. Getting the job done. That’s why the leader is there: to do what is needed to get the job done. This applies no matter what the job is. It might mean launching a product or achieving a forecast. It doesn’t matter. It’s the leader’s job to ensure those things are done successfully.

2. Taking care of your people. If the leader takes care of them (supporting them and pushing them), then the job tends to get done. Taking care of people can mean many things: giving a pat on the back, giving constructive criticism, addressing problems that hold the team back, etc. But doing those things helps people do their jobs and motivates them to excel.

Regarding teamwork, it’s crucial in the Marine Corps. The culture stresses that the team, not the individual, is most important. The focus is on achieving team goals and ensuring team success first. People work together, help each other and push each other to accomplish team goals. Also, everyone understands that they have a contribution they need to make in order for the team to succeed. Everyone also understands that the spirit of teamwork is motivating and improves morale. That also contributes to success.”


Embly Thomas

Communications Installer, National Technologies – a Network Connex Company

“Work hard and be proud of it. Pay attention to the little details.”


William Vorce, Sr.

Construction Manager, ExteNet Systems
Air Force, E-4 Senior Airman (Telephone and Data Circuitry Equipment Specialist)

“The Air Force was instrumental in molding me into a respectful, dedicated, honest person. The military taught me attention to detail, timeliness, and respect for team members. My NCOIC always said, ‘Don’t ask someone to do a task that you wouldn’t do yourself.” I have used that in my 33 years in telecom. I am always willing to get in and lend a hand when needed.”


Jeff White Veteran

Jeff White

TSQ, National Technologies – a Network Connex Company
Aviation Electrician, United States Marine Corps

“I served 5 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. I was an aviation electrician on the CH-53 helicopter. I served all over the United States and globally. I was part of the NATO support in Bosnia in 1998. It was an amazing experience that shaped my life and I am proud I did my part for this country.”


Logan Wilkins

Warehouse associate, National Technologies – a Network Connex Company
E-3 and United States Air Force

“My military service taught me lessons that are directly applicable to a wireless industry career. I learned the importance of hard work and teamwork, realizing how each individual plays an important role in contributing to the overall success of the larger team.”