Veterans Day is an important holiday at DroneUp. Since the beginning, our company has had deep roots in the military, and we strive to honor our national heroes on this day and every day. DroneUp is a certified Virginia Values Veterans (V3) company, and we are proud to employ a large number of veterans in our company.
This Veterans Day, we asked a few DroneUp employees who served in the military to tell their stories.
Information Security Analyst at DroneUp
As I reflect on the past six years of my life, a significant portion has been dedicated to serving in the Virginia Air National Guard as a logistic planner. It's a role that has not only allowed me to contribute to the defense of our nation but has also shaped me in ways I never imagined.
From coordinating deployments to managing the intricate details of supply chains, my time in the Air National Guard has been a dynamic blend of challenges and growth. As a logistic planner, my responsibilities extend beyond the confines of a typical 9-to-5 job. The military demands precision, adaptability, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Through countless drills, exercises, and real-world scenarios, I've honed my skills in strategic planning and resource management.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my service has been the camaraderie forged with my fellow service members. The bonds formed in the Air National Guard go beyond professional relationships – they are bonds of trust, reliance, and shared purpose. Together, we've navigated through complex logistical puzzles, ensuring that our units are equipped, supported, and ready for any mission.
What makes this journey even more unique is the parallel path I walk when not in military uniform. Alongside my commitment to the Virginia Air National Guard, I dedicate my time to another cutting-edge realm – the world of drones. When not on duty, I work full-time at DroneUp, a company at the forefront of the drone industry.
The synergy between my roles in the Air National Guard and at DroneUp is both fascinating and mutually beneficial. The precision and strategic thinking developed in my military service seamlessly translate to the fast-paced, innovative environment of the drone industry. It's a delicate balance that requires adaptability and the ability to switch gears seamlessly – a skill set I've cultivated through my dual commitment.
While my weekdays may be filled with security tickets and phishing questions, my weekends often find me in uniform, continuing my service to the nation. It's a dichotomy that keeps me on my toes, offering a diverse range of experiences and perspectives that contribute to my personal and professional growth.
As I continue to serve in the Virginia Air National Guard and contribute to the exciting growth of DroneUp, I am grateful for the opportunities and lessons each role provides. The dual commitment has shaped me into a more resilient, versatile, and service-oriented individual, ready to face any challenge that comes my way. I look forward to the continued journey, where the skies and drones intersect, and my dedication to both realms contributes to something greater than myself. I am beyond thankful to be part of a company that supports me serving!
Drone Pilot Instructor at DroneUp
I joined the United States Army in 2006 as a UAS Operator. After training in Arizona, I was stationed with the 502nd Military Intelligence Company, 40th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany. I deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in April 2008. I served as a Mission Commander, Mission Briefing Officer, and Unit Trainer for 4 Brigade Combat Teams throughout Baghdad without accident or incident.
After my service, I became a Standardization Instructor Operator with the 2-13th Aviation Regiment, where I instructed the Army’s UAS qualification course for eight years. I decided to venture into the commercial UAS industry, where I found DroneUp and started in August 2022 at the DroneUp Flight Academy at Richard Bland College in Virginia. I now lead the highly talented team of UAS Academy Instructors and am excited to see where DroneUp takes the drone delivery industry.
Hub Leader at DroneUp
We would also like to recognize Ken Layton, who is our Hub Leader in Bentonville, AR. He has served since 2001 and is currently serving on active duty with the USAF as a Master Sergeant and Sensor Operator on the MQ9 Reaper. We appreciate his service.