Standard Logistics Salutes Our Veterans
November 11, 2022
When it comes to being best in class, nobody does it better than the veterans and those who serve on the Standard Logistics team. We are proud of the diversity of our team, which includes the many dedicated military members who bring the same degree of commitment to the work they do every day.
This Veteran’s Day, we sat down with Bryan Fischer (left), Area Fleet Supervisor, and Jamie Bailey, Maintenance and Asset Manager to speak about their military careers and reflect on how their experiences impact the work they do today.
In what branch of the military did you serve, and for how long?
Bryan – I’m in the army and joined the National Guard in 2005 when I was in college.
Jamie – I joined the military in November of 1996. I went in as a light mechanic and spent 21 years on active duty. I’ve been in maintenance my entire career and worked my way up to an E-8 (Master Sergeant) where I got to work with the soldiers and develop some great relationships.
What inspired you to join?
Bryan – Looking back on it, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I saw a flyer and thought, “hey, let’s see what this is about.” Initially, I did a six-year contract and that turned into almost 18 years.
Jamie – My family. I grew up in the eastern mountains. My wife and I were very young when we started our family, and I knew I had to do something. We’ve been married now for 26 years, and we’ve been through it all. Our children have been through numerous schools. Our oldest daughter went through six, our youngest daughter went through eight, and my son is on his third, and I’m not moving again.
Can you share some of your most memorable experiences?
Jamie – I got my four-year college degree in Business Administration, and later went into recruiting. It was a great experience. A lot of what I ended up doing was maintenance assistance, inspections, and training. Going across the Southeastern US helping units prepare to mobilize their equipment. Being a part of that was very fulfilling.
Bryan – My first experience was in 2009. I was down in College Station, TX. There was a Blackhawk helicopter crash, and they needed a security detail. I thought, “this is different.” I did the MFO mission in Egypt in 2014, a couple weeks in Houston during Hurricane Harvey, I’ve been to the border twice, and went to DC for the presidential inauguration security, to name a few. It’s a lot of unique experiences that keep me motivated to keep doing it. You never know what’s coming. You really have to take the first few days to figure it all out. You’re given briefings and everyone is different, but you just have to adjust as you go each day and adapt.
Sounds like you had to jump and build context fast.
Jamie – Exactly. I give a lot of credit to the veterans. At that time, there were some Vietnam vets still there. I learned a lot from them—pay attention to detail and really focus on those things when working on equipment. Safety is first and foremost. Whether you’re on a training exercise or overseas in Afghanistan, it’s extremely important to make sure the equipment is mission capable.
Are the skills you’ve gained transferable in the work you do today?
Bryan – Absolutely. It works both ways. Military experience to civilian enhancement and civilian experience to military. For example, you have to know how to communicate with your team. Goal setting and mission-oriented tasks go hand in hand. One thing I found particularly useful coming from the military into the civilian world are the different roles in the management process. You have to know your position plus two down and one up. You never know what openings are going to need to be filled. I found that very useful on the civilian side. If I need to step up and fill in, I need to know how to do that.
Jamie – Absolutely. The only true difference is the system you use. You still have to maintain the equipment and make sure it’s roadworthy. Those trucks are 80,000-pound cruise missiles. You have to make sure they’re safe. My family is on the road. Your family is on the road. We must be vigilant.
I imagine that commitment to excellence carries over.
Jamie – Yes. When I was a recruiter, I looked for excellence. I wanted the best soldiers going overseas to support the mission. I take pride in what I do and that rolls into the maintenance side. At Standard Logistics we want everything to be best in class. I want to make sure we’ve got the best fleet in the industry. We have to make sure we deliver our products on time and, more importantly, that our drivers are taken care of. It’s not just maintenance. We have to take care of those who sit in that seat to give them peace of mind so they can do their job safely.
Jamie Bailey, Maintenance and Asset Manager pictured left.
Any fun or unexpected moments to share?
Bryan – One that really stands out to me would be my first border mission. It was the last minute so there were a lot of gaps. We were put out on these observation points for three or four days at a time. Food was supposed to be dropped every day but there was a two-day period where we didn’t get any food brought to us and someone had the idea to try and catch one of the wild pigs. It was actually successful. I was out in South Texas watching the Rio Grande River barbequing a wild pig!
Jamie – I always look back on being a young couple and think about how we started out. Our daughter and my wife flew out early to meet me as a surprise. We went for ten days with no furniture because our stuff got stuck. It was our daughter’s first birthday, and we walked a mile in 113-degree weather to have her first birthday party at a Golden Corral. I always look back and laugh. Our furniture? It was an old metal two-seater. A small little table and two chairs. One of those old orange-yellow couches that folded out into a bed. The only thing new was the crib. We worked our way up to where we are today, and I take a lot of pride in that.
Any words of advice for those considering joining?
Bryan – The best advice is to talk to multiple people who have done it and get their thoughts. It’s not a lifestyle for everybody. It takes a different level of commitment but it’s rewarding.
Jamie – Do it because you want to do it. You have to go into the military and look at it as a career, a steppingstone for what you want to do. There are careers that you can only dream of and there are so many opportunities to take advantage of at a young age. That right there is priceless.
How has the experience been as an active-duty member of the National Guard?
Bryan – Standard Logistics has been great. Very supportive. When I started, I told them my schedule could change. A month in, I got the call to pack my bags and go to the border. I felt supported every step of the way. My manager checked in every couple of weeks to see how I was doing and if my family needed anything. When I returned, the support was unbelievable. Everyone was happy to have me back.
What are you most proud of?
Bryan – It’s my kids and how they have been able to adapt. When they were younger, they didn’t quite understand when it was time to leave. As they’ve gotten older, they get it. I’m proud of how they’ve adapted to a commitment that I made before they were even born.
Jamie – I would say family. We never had support from anyone. We did it on our own and we weren’t even old enough to drink. All the accomplishments and doing it with my family intact at the end of it all was a proud moment for me.
A huge thanks to Bryan and Jamie for taking the time to share their stories. We thank you for your service and encourage everyone to take the time to recognize those who served, and continue to serve, with honor.