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Readers recount stories of military service

Readers recount stories of military service

Twenty-three veterans share lessons learned and how their experiences shaped their credit union careers.

November 24, 2020

Throughout November, we’ve profiled veterans in our second annual Salute to Veterans, sponsored by FIS, and explored how military service has aided their credit union careers.

We also asked you to share your military experience and how it’s impacted your credit union careers. Twenty-three of you responded, recounting how the military provided you with the education, experience, and skills needed to excel in your credit union careers and address life’s challenges.

Some of your stories:

Robert Paduano

Robert Paduano

Robert Paduano knew how it important it was to attend college if he wanted to pursue a career in information technology. He also knew the military offered him that opportunity.

Paduano, assistant vice president, systems engineering and information security, at $3.6 billion asset SAFE Credit Union in Folsom, Calif., enlisted in the Army National Guard after high school graduation.

He served 12 years in the Guard, during which time he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, served in Iraq, worked at the California Army National Guard Headquarters in information security, and earned a master’s degree in information systems management.

“My military experience is the basis for and reason I have a career at SAFE Credit Union,” Paduano says. “Everything I have learned, studied, and experienced throughout my 12 years of service directly relates to my role at SAFE.”

Brittany Bennett

Brittany Bennett

When Brittany Bennett enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17, she wanted to make her parents proud, keep her country safe, and be proud of the service she gave to her country.

The third-party risk management associate at $9.5 billion asset VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla., oversaw the production of two ship stores, two barber shops, a handful of vending machines, the ship’s laundry facilities, and the Navy’s first onboard beauty salon while she served on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“My military experience gave me unique skillsets that set me apart from people who have not served,” Bennett says. “Learning on the job for my military role taught me the skill of learning quickly.”

Tracey Ann Tippett

Tracey Ann Tippett

As a heavy equipment mechanic stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, Tracey Ann Tippett was responsible for keeping the equipment up and running. She provided equipment for ground support while deployed during the Gulf War/Operation Desert Storm.

Her experiences in the U.S. Marine Corps taught her critical lessons that she uses in her role as operations department supervisor at $168 million asset TruNorth Federal Credit Union in Ishpeming, Mich.

“Always  do the best job possible, learn from your mistakes,  try to better yourself, and make sure things work and function properly or find the solution to fix it,” Tippet says. “As part of the operations department, my team members are the glue that keeps the credit union up and running.”

► Find more reader-submitted stories and veteran profiles in our second annual Salute to Veterans, sponsored by FIS.