Q&A with Disabled Veteran, Kendrick Cross, at RMF Engineering
Name: Kendrick Cross
Title: Project Designer
Branch of military service / rank: Army / E4 (Corporal)
Hometown: Hagerstown, Indiana
Favorite Pastimes: NASCAR and attending our local short track, fishing, music, woodworking
Veteran’s Day is coming up and we wanted to take time to honor one of our client’s veteran employees. We reached out to RMF Engineering to speak with one of the firm’s project designers — Corporal Kendrick “Ken” Cross — who was last stationed in Fort Meade, Md. during his time with the U.S. Army. Vitamin got the scoop from Ken (a self-described patriot!) on his experience in the military, his current position with RMF and why more employers should hire our nation’s veterans.
Why did you join the U.S. military? I joined the Army because there were no job opportunities in my hometown. Having always been a patriot, it was a perfect fit!
Tell us about the training you went through. I went through Basic Training at Fort Dix, N.J., where I was a Squad Leader. I also had Advanced Training for wheeled vehicle repair during my time at Edgewood Arsenal, Md. Both training programs helped me hone my understanding of engineering components and how they work together to achieve a desired result – all skills, which are directly transferrable to my work at RMF Engineering.
How did you end up working at RMF Engineering? When I became a disabled veteran and had to leave the military, there were no jobs where I was living in Michigan. Once you leave the service, you’re thrust into the private sector where jobs are scarce, which is strange when you’re used to years of job security. After months of searching, I secured a phone interview with RMF’s office in North Carolina for a position that incorporated the skills I had learned in the army. After passing that stage, I drove from Michigan to North Carolina to interview in person, and a few days later, I received word that I’d landed the position with RMF. I made the move to Raleigh, N.C., shortly thereafter.
What types of skills did you learn during your time in the military that are transferrable to the job you do now? The most important skills I learned are discipline, teamwork, multi-tasking, leadership, punctuality and dedication. This is important in my current position, where I’m responsible for the production and delivery of large drawing sets covering plumbing and mechanical systems. I also learned a multitude of technical skills exclusive to high intelligence military operations, which has helped me bring new techniques to RMF’s operations.
RMF Engineering is a team-oriented and progressive culture, how does that compare with the culture of the military? RMF has its offices, and within those offices are departments and groups, just as the Army has divisions, and within those, battalions, companies, platoons and squads. Like the Army, RMF works together toward a common goal as a cohesive unit. RMF’s company culture made it an easy transition for me into the private sector.
What is the one big lesson you learned from serving your country? How does it help you in business? During my service, I worked on vehicles which were used to transport personnel and supplies. It was paramount that these vehicles were repaired and maintained quickly and efficiently, and that they were able to safely transport and protect personnel and cargo at all times. In the business world, a project needs to be completed quickly and efficiently the first time. Engineering projects in particular need to be reliable and safe to protect the interest of the public.
What would you say to an employer who is considering hiring a veteran?
I would say, to any potential employer, that when you hire a veteran you are hiring a person who will understand the organizational chain of command and respect it. Veterans make the most dedicated and loyal employees. They will also be reliable, punctual and able to work as a team to achieve your business goals.