LaForce is honored to employ many current and former members of the military. To express our gratitude, we’ve compiled the stories of four such veterans. Thank you for your service!
Jarmelle Blunt – United States Army – 6.5 years
Jarmelle really enjoyed his time in the U.S. Army, where he was on active duty for 4.5 years plus two years in the Army Reserve. Jarmelle received five Army Commendation Medals (ARCOM)’s, including one for processing and receiving over $50 million worth of inventory. He also received an Honors Graduate commendation after finishing in the top five of 400 soldiers in basic training, and recognition for his Special Olympics volunteer efforts.
Beyond these accomplishments, Jarmelle remembers the strong connection with his fellow soldiers:
“It’s hard to explain the bond that you have with your brothers and sisters in arms, but they are your extended family.”
Army discipline and structure shaped Jarmelle as a person and employee. He also learned to work with and appreciate many different types of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Jarmelle’s job at LaForce allows him to draw on these strengths and apply his military experience. In addition, Jarmelle appreciates the fact that he works with other fellow veterans.
This Veterans Day, Jarmelle is proud to have served with an elite group of men and women, including many of his own family members: “The things I did to make a difference in this country make me very proud to have served. I am proud to be an American and know that I helped keep my family, and others, safe.”
Today, Jarmelle works for LaForce in the Austin, TX office as a welder and driver. He started earlier this year.
John Gillis – United States Marine Corps – 11 years
John served as a Sergeant and Captain in the United States Marine Corps, where he undertook deployments to the Persian Gulf, Italy, Norway, and Mediterranean, in addition to other travels and duties.
“Through my service, I was able to meet people, see places, and experience cultures I would not have otherwise been exposed to.” These experiences include repairing an orphanage in Israel and later playing basketball with the kids, visiting Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, and seeing the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle in Norway.
John’s extensive military training challenged him as an individual, reinforced his respect for other people, and demonstrated the importance and potential of a unit or team working together to achieve a common goal. This translates well to John’s management role at LaForce:
“The training helped strengthen and improve my communication and organizational skills, and the Marine Corps’ emphasis on delegation of authority and small unit tactics and leadership provided the right perspective for empowering individuals at LaForce to make good business decisions on a daily basis.”
John views Veterans Day as an opportunity to reflect on all the freedoms and liberties Americans enjoy as a democratic society, in addition to appreciating all the veterans who have protected it over the last 240+ years.
John is now the Director of Aftermarket Sales and Security Integration for LaForce in Green Bay, WI. He has worked for the company for 16 years.
Mike Corns – United States Marine Corps – 4 years
As an E4 Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, Mike experienced two Mediterranean deployments and traveled to many different countries. He especially appreciated the camaraderie and brotherhood that accompanied his service, and even continues to this day with ongoing friendships.
The Marine Corps taught Mike about teamwork and leadership – two traits that he applies in his job at LaForce. In addition to practical skills, “My military service made me grow up and become more independent.”
Mike’s son also spent time in the Marine Corps, and Mike knows many more colleagues who are veterans. This Veterans Day, Mike sees an opportunity to honor all men and women who have served and are still serving.
Mike now works for LaForce as the Shop Coordinator in Vernon Hills, IL. He started at LaForce in 2010.
Kyle Smith – United States Air Force – 8 years
During his time in the United States Air Force, Kyle served on an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile team as a technician, team chief, and trainer. This involved maintaining system readiness in remote areas such as Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
These experiences taught Kyle how to be adaptable, manage time, and apply a strong attention to detail. He is also adept at managing tense situations and solving tricky problems. All of these traits serve Kyle well in his current job at LaForce.
This Veterans Day, Kyle takes the opportunity to reminisce with his fellow service members, which includes many family members. He likes hearing the stories about veterans’ time served.
Today, Kyle is a Project Manager on LaForce’s Green Bay, WI Engineering Team. He has nearly three years experience with the company.