How Military Service Shaped Aerospace Employees Around the Globe

November 11, 2017 | Author: Don Empie

Military service provides a wealth of knowledge and a distinct set of skills. The experience shapes service members and allows them to discover capabilities that benefit them for the rest of their lives. Military service often changes the trajectory of a person’s future.

Many say the benefits include lessons in perseverance and the value of teamwork, broader horizons and exposure to different cultures. Others cite the opportunity to meet like-minded people and build lifelong friendships.

The dedication, selflessness and courage shown by service members all over the globe is admirable. In honor of Veterans Day, Armistice Day and Remembrance Day around the world, Honeywell Aerospace is proud to recognize the employees who served in the military, their sacrifices and the valuable wisdom they acquired during service.

Here are a few of their stories:


Amanda King, Sr. Director, Breakthrough Technology Power Systems, Phoenix, Ariz.

Amanda King

I loved being in the U.S. Army and probably would have been a “lifer” had injury not gotten in the way. After my medical challenge, I had an epiphany. It dawned on me I would never be the woman I was before I joined the Army – but I also would never be the same woman I was before completing my military service, and that was a good thing. Being in the Army taught me so many things. Before my service, I was self-focused and had a “me” mentality. After my military experience, I had a new respect for the importance of a strong team and the greater good of a group. I learned the meaning of resilience and intestinal fortitude and the value of courage and perseverance. However, the most impactful thing I learned in the Army was that being a good leader means being a good friend. Understanding that having tough conversations because you genuinely care about the success of your employees or teammates is a necessity. I believe strongly that in order to lead, you have to be a friend first and do whatever it takes to help your employees achieve their best outcome. I look at my mentor, Col. Jeffery P. Kelley, and marvel at his ability to be a remarkable leader. I learned more about life from him than nearly any single person in my life. His level of self-sacrifice, dedication to his team and ability to have tough conversations because he genuinely cares about people changed my outlook on the world. For that, I am forever grateful.


Pradeep K. Arora, Sr. Manager Flight Operations, Hyderabad, India

Pradeep Arora

I joined the Services Training Institute at age 16. While it gave me a free college education, it also taught me about the more important things in life including courage, loyalty and teamwork. These virtues were not taught in classrooms but in a physical environment that demanded it. The training also broadened my horizons to accept other cultures and people. The most important facet of the training was that all cadets are made to compete on a common platform and you made it on merit. Your identification was the number allotted to you and your worth was your performance in the classroom, on the PT fields and in the camps.

Thereafter I joined the Navy and was lucky enough to fly the Sea Harrier fighter aircraft. Flying off an aircraft carrier was definitely exciting and doing that on a dark night made it doubly so. The single seat nature of the Sea Harrier taught a hands-on approach to life. Unfortunately, it also causes me to micromanage at times. The Sea Harrier flying brought me a lot closer to God because I had my share of narrow escapes when my skills were not enough.

My military services shaped my family, too. Not being available during detachments meant my wife and kids had to learn to look out for themselves. The squadron families built a bond outside the squadron. They would look out for each other when we were away on detachments and, in a way, they too played an important role in the squadron’s achievements and history.

I am what I am because of the Services. Sailing the oceans, horse riding and show jumping, gliding, parasailing, boxing, flying a fighter jet – I have been blessed with it all. What would I change if I had to do it all over again? Nothing.


Christopher Bisgrove, Technical Leadership Development Program Manager, Phoenix, Ariz.

Christopher Bisgrove

My association with the U.S. military began at birth. My father was an Air Force pilot. I got the flying bug from him and eventually came to enjoy my own F-16 fighter aviation career. My family – including my parents, siblings, wife and children – learned to embrace the traveler lifestyle associated with supporting military interests and protecting the freedom of others all over the world. I was 42 years old when, for the very first time, I lived in the same house for three years. In the service I came to know two things: wherever I lived, I never wanted to move (translation: we learned to love it, everywhere); and having a career that serves a higher calling, way beyond earning a paycheck, is a blessing.

While my active military time has ended and I no longer fly fourth-generation fighter jets or teach others to “Fly, Fight, and Win!,” fighter aviation shaped my life in many ways. I learned the attitude of a winner and the privilege of sharing it with others. People often ask, “So you used to be a fighter pilot?” My response: “I still am! It is a mindset, not an activity.”

Today I appreciate another blessing, my current career in Leadership Development at Honeywell Aerospace. Some hardware and activities may be different, but I am delighted with the similarities where it matters most – consider Honeywell’s 8 Behaviors and you’ll know what I mean.

My military service shaped me with aerospace training and exposure to leadership at all levels, all over the world. My new higher calling is setting up Honeywell Aerospace leaders for success. Let’s face it, everyone benefits when leaders improve. I applaud Honeywell Aerospace for a purposeful and strategic mindset that benefits everyone!


Bob Lenz, Director, Enterprise Operations, Safety Systems, Ohio

Bob Lenz

I was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer from West Point and the following 20 years went by in the blink of an eye. I was extraordinarily lucky that I could fulfill my dream of becoming an Army Aviator, flying the UH-1H Huey and the UH-60A/L Black Hawk helicopters. Serving in the military gave me a tremendous breadth of opportunities in both the types of leadership positions I held and the places around the world where I served. My positions ranged from serving as an aviation commander in the 101st Airborne Division to teaching Systems Engineering at West Point and to leading program strategy for the Army vehicle fleet with an annual budget of more than $4 billion. I served in many of the typical deployment locations including Germany, Bosnia, Korea, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, but I also had missions take me across the globe to less typical locations like Australia and Sweden.

In my opinion, the two best aspects of the U.S. Army are the people and team culture. In the Army, I was fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most professional and devoted people I have ever met. Everyone worked hard and took care of each other as if we were family. As a result, we were successful far more often than not, and the many “hardships” instead became great memories for stories in later years.

I have seen much of the same professionalism and dedication at Honeywell. My time thus far has been an eventful journey and I look forward to all the new lessons and experiences yet to come!

If you are a Honeywell Aerospace veteran and would like to share your story about how military service shaped you and your life, send your name, a photo of yourself and up to 300 words to Profiles will be accepted between now and Nov. 10. By submitting a photo, you are agreeing to the Honeywell consent and release form, giving us permission to publish your photo on internal (Intranet, Aero in Action) and external social media channels.

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