On the edge every day
Missions in Iraq taught Nick McManigle how to handle pressure and leadership challenges.
Nick McManigle’s career path included a short stop in college, but that wasn’t the final destination.
First, he had to navigate desert roads littered with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
After attending college for one year, McManigle decided school wasn’t the right path for him, and he enlisted in the U.S. Army in hopes of finding a new direction.
McManigle deployed to Iraq in 2006, three months after basic training. As a combat engineer, he was tasked with driving vehicles to seek out roadside bombs and clear the way for convoys and civilians. His platoon found 300 IEDs, but also suffered a few causalities.
It was a risky job that McManigle says had him on the “edge of my seat every day.”
“We’re out there driving four miles an hour looking at dirt and trying to find something wrong with that dirt that was different from the dirt before,” says McManigle, a loan officer at $1.2 billion asset Consumers Credit Union in Kalamazoo, Mich. “And pray that we find it before it found us.
“It was handling stressful situations under pressure,” he continues. “Like trying to get an 11-vehicle convoy through a village while getting shot at while mortars and bombs are going off. I wouldn’t say it was fun, but it’s something I’ll always remember and could do 100 times over in the future if there’s stressful situation.”
After nearly 10 years, McManigle was discharged from the Army as a staff sergeant. He pursued a career in the financial industry and started at Consumers as a teller.
His time in the Army taught him discipline and self-motivation, but also the value of leadership and working together as a team, whether it’s taking on a leadership role himself or following others.
“When I deployed to Iraq, I had to trust every single person above me, which I never had to do before,” McManigle says. “Coming to Consumers, I trust my leadership to do their jobs and help me when I need it. Being a better teammate is the [skill] I’ve been able to use the most.”
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