I Owe my Career at Honeywell to the US Air Force

November 7, 2016 | Author: Jon Darling

Jon DarlingDuring Sunday service at my church around Veterans Day, the minister typically asks veterans to stand up and be recognized by the congregation. However, I don’t typically stand up because I do not necessarily view my military service as a sacrifice, but as the opportunity of a lifetime!

You see, I grew up in a rural part of upper New York state just outside Rochester in a nuclear family with great love, but little financial means. College was not something I was thinking about in 1977 as high school drew to a close and life’s next steps began to unfold. Enlisting in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), following in my father’s footsteps, seemed like the right thing to do. So in March of my senior year, I pre-enlisted and headed off to boot camp the day after the graduation ceremonies concluded.

Uncle Sam, as I would come to call the USAF, was someone who seemed to recognize me for qualities I had yet to recognize myself. I was trained as a Power Production specialist, so it was my responsibility to maintain backup electrical power production across the base.

I excelled under the structure provided by the USAF and wanted more, so I started taking night classes at a local community college and applied for a four-year Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) scholarship. It took two attempts, but persistence paid off and my college ambitions were on their way through the blessings of the USAF.

That was 1979 and I joined Honeywell in 1992, 13 years later. I’ve been at Honeywell for 24 years now and I’ve enjoyed a variety of systems engineering assignments; everything from space applications with the International Space Station and shuttle upgrades to commercial and business jet applications.

The USAF enabled me to attend college and gain experience as an electrical engineer. Those basic technical skills have matured over time and equipped me to take on many challenges as a systems engineer working within Honeywell Aerospace. I’m thankful for every day as I thoroughly enjoy solving real-world problems for our customers.

Truly the honor is mine in serving and I owe it all to the U.S. Air Force. Happy Veterans Day, Uncle Sam!

Jon Darling

Jon Darling

Jon Darling has been a practicing Systems Engineer for over 33 years with experiences in Military, Space, Commercial and Business Aviation. As a systems engineer, he has worked for the USAF, IBM, Kaman Aerospace and Honeywell and has consulted with General Motors regarding advanced safety features. He is proud to have been part of the Six Sigma deployment efforts across Honeywell and now proudly refers to himself as a Systems Engineering Black Belt.

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