Following Memorial Day, it was fitting for United Technologies Coalition for Veterans (UTC-4-Vets) to host a Lunch n' Learn with retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs, an American hero, Medal of Honor recipient, and friend to Pratt & Whitney. He shared stories from his military experience and insight on how his lessons learned could benefit employees and the company.
Jacobs, who entered military service through Rutgers ROTC, earned the Medal of Honor for exceptional heroism on the battlefields of Vietnam. He also holds three Bronze Stars and two Silver Stars. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the world's most knowledgeable — and outspoken — military analysts. His career has bridged the disparate worlds of the military, business and academia.
Many of the takeaways from Jacobs' time in the service have proven to be applicable to daily life. "To allocate resources without first thinking about what it is we are trying to accomplish is wrong," said Jacobs of one such lesson. "To change this we should start at the end and work our way backward." In his experience, if we accomplish this, then the job of reinforcing success become much easier.
Between bouts of laughter and tales from the battlefield, Jacobs stressed the importance of good and proper training. "It is a big mistake to make a distinction between education and training," said Jacobs. "Nothing gives young people more responsibility and authority than the Army, experience that is almost impossible to duplicate outside the military service … Training is the single most important thing you can do." This lesson, he explained, is as essential to Pratt & Whitney's success as it is to any military.
Jacobs also expressed his gratitude for the important work that is done at Pratt & Whitney. "Pratt & Whitney is in the freedom business and I thank you for that," said Jacobs.
To close the event, Pratt & Whitney Aftermarket President and UTC-4-Vets executive champion Matthew Bromberg presented Col. Jacobs with a leather jacket to thank him for sharing his experience with Pratt & Whitney employees and recognized UTC-4-Vets for hosting the event.
Founded last year, UTC-4-Vets serves Pratt & Whitney veterans and their families. "Our goal is to be a resource for those that have and are currently serving," said UTC-4-Vets President Dan Ward. "We need to support our veterans and their families."