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Army Ranger finally finds work-life balance at The Home Depot
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at The Home Depot committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. The Home Depot is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
In 2009, Kristopher Green was an Army Ranger. If you asked him on the day of his discharge where he would be in 10 years, he wouldn't have said software engineering. But three career shifts later, the determination, problem-solving, and ability to work on a close-knit team developed in the 75th Ranger Regiment made him a perfect fit for The Home Depot's corporate headquarters in Atlanta.
Discovering his skill set
Growing up with a father in the Army, Green always imagined himself joining the military. After high school, he didn't feel ready for college, so he decided to use an Option 40 contract to enlist in the Army Rangers in 2005. After his first deployment to Iraq, Green went to Ranger School to become a team leader. He led a four-man fire team through hundreds of missions across two additional combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the work was demanding, Green enjoyed the camaraderie, as well as the continuous learning and creativity necessary for good leadership.
"A team leader should have mastered everything that anyone on his team will have to do," he says. "The hardest part was just trying to be a good team leader and earn the respect of my guys by showing them the right way to do things while being a respectful person."
But ultimately, Green found the intensity of the Ranger lifestyle — which routinely demanded 12-hour workdays, weekend trainings, and three- to four-month deployments every seven to eight months — was incompatible with his personal life. Hoping to have a family one day, he decided not to reenlist when his four-year contract came to a close.
From workouts to web development
Green pursued a degree in business administration and management at Georgia Southern University, with his sights set on joining the FBI. But he quickly fell in love with fitness and opened a gym after his graduation.
"I was able to use some of the leadership skills I developed in the Army to lead the gym as a whole and start developing that camaraderie," Green says. "I enjoyed having that in the Rangers, so I figured if I could create that same sense in the gym, people would be inclined to join."
He was so successful, however, that his work once again became all-consuming. All of his and his wife's friends were gym members, and they spent the majority of their time outside of work talking about fitness and nutrition. Afraid of losing his passion for fitness to overwork, Green sold the business in 2017 and began thinking about the next phase of his career.
As it happened, Green's college roommate had majored in computer science and recommended work in programming. A few months later, Green enrolled in a 12-week web developer program; a Home Depot recruiter contacted him within days of his graduation. Green was the first member of his cohort to be hired and believes that his military experience gave him an edge.
"It shows you have a lot of determination, and a sense of loyalty," he says. "I think companies value that a lot."
Ranger skills fit in anywhere
For almost two years, Green has worked at The Home Depot Store Support Center, developing and maintaining the internal programs merchant planners use to stock shelves around the country. He works side by side with his team members each day, sharing the same computer with a partner. Not only does Green use his small-team experience from the Army Rangers to succeed, but also his ability to learn on the job — and his well-honed persistence.
"Once you realize there is a bug, sometimes it's pretty obvious, but sometimes it's not," he says. "You have to be determined to dig through the code and try to replicate what the user was doing to uncover the bug. It could take all day."
Green loves the daily challenge in computer programming. Being able to take a wider perspective has been invaluable in his programming work from the beginning. In the Rangers, he says, "they always tell you to take the path of least resistance when you're entering a room; this mentality can be applied to almost anything. If you detach for a second and really think through the situation, you're more likely to find the answer."
Supporting a company that supports the military
Green welcomes the degree to which The Home Depot supports the military, in both the workplace and the community. He's a member of The Home Depot's Military Appreciation Group, which organizes events at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's USO lounge to recognize the service of veteran associates and volunteers.
The Home Depot also participates in the Training with Industry program, in which active duty officers spend a year working with Fortune 500 companies to learn corporate skills The Home Depot implements supply chains so then they can take that information to the Air Force."
But what's most important to Green is he has finally found a career that allows him to maintain balance between life at work and home. He encourages all service members considering civilian work to seek out the same.
"The Home Depot is a great place to work. There are great benefits, and they really give you the ability to have a work-life balance," Green says. "If that's one of the big reasons you're leaving the military, you don't have to join a big corporation that overworks you. The Home Depot really wants to take care of its associates."
This post is sponsored by The Home Depot
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.
As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.
"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.