Veterans Day is a time for us to stop and say thank you to those who have served in the Armed Forces. We are especially proud of all our Veterans in the TPx workforce. They each bring a unique perspective to work from their time serving in the U.S. military. The skills, discipline and focus on service not only made these individuals successful in the Armed Forces but also successful as employees and leaders at TPx.
Spotlight on Veteran Chris Ashby
In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to spotlight one of our Veterans at TPx, Chris Ashby. Chris is the Manager of Network Engineering at TPx and oversees all Outside Plant Engineering and Infrastructure Engineering teams.
We had a chance to spend some time with Chris and ask him about his time in the U.S. Army and journey to TPx. We compiled the questions and answers below.
Questions and Answers
What was your role in the Armed Forces?
I served in the U.S. Army for 4 years with a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in Wire Systems Installation. I went to Basic Training at Ft Knox, KY and Advanced Training for Wire Systems Installer (31L) at Ft Gordon, GA.
Why did you join the U.S. Army?
I have always felt the need to serve my country and others. I also remember thinking that I did not want to “wish” I would have joined when I got older, like now.
Where were you stationed?
My first duty station was in Garlstadt, Germany with the 2nd Armored Division, which was most notably known for being led by General George Patton in WWII and a guy some of you may know by the name of Elvis Presley. Because my MOS was in telecommunications, I was crossed trained as a Mobile Subscriber Equipment Operator, which is basically a cellular network that can move as a whole, for Operation Desert Shield and Storm, and Operation Provide Comfort (Iraqi Refugee Protection). When I returned to my station in Germany, I assisted with the deactivation of 2nd Armored Division. I was then reassigned to the 50th Signal Brigade in FT Bragg, NC and was deployed to Homestead Air Force Base for Hurricane Andrew Relief in Florida. Hurricane Andrew destroyed civilian networks across the state of Florida. My unit was tasked to quickly set up a communications network that could replace the destroyed Miami Bell Network to be used by first responders and other organizations to provide food, water, and shelter to the local population.
Why was serving your country important?
I was a Cub Scout, and Boy Scout and went on to join the JROTC program in High School, so for many years I had learned what it meant to have great pride in our country. Through those organizations I also learned that by sacrificing your own time, for the greater good of others, there is a sense of internal happiness that cannot be matched in self-serving accomplishments.
What was it like to go back to civilian life?
I won’t lie, it was scary. There is the obvious unknown of, “What will I do for a job?” When I moved back home to Alaska, my brother had just left for the Marine Corps, and I got a job right away at an appliance/electronics store delivering furniture. Within a few months, because of my military experience and expertise with telecommunications, I joined a company that installed LAN and telephone office systems throughout the State of Alaska. This was my introduction to civilian telecommunications and my career has taken off from there.
What brought you to TPx?
When I joined TPx in 2003, it was still a rather small CLEC in California and had recently placed a 5E switch in Las Vegas, NV. I saw an opportunity to grow with the company, and I’ve experienced that growth in spades ever since. I joined the company as a Field Operations Installer and have since been promoted to Network Ops Supervisor, then CTSC (RROC) Manager, and now Manager of Outside Plant Engineering and Infrastructure Engineering.
What has your experience been as Veteran at TPx?
My experience as a veteran has been great. I have always felt the company has done a great job recognizing employees who served in the armed forces and provide opportunities for Veterans to grow within the business.
How can others get involved this Veterans Day?
There are many organizations that help Veterans across the country. It is never too late to serve others and there are opportunities to give back at various levels. There is always something going on in your area from clothing drives and food collections that help homeless Veterans to toy drives or volunteering at your local VFW or American Legion. Whether you help financially, donate items, or make crafts to donate as a raffle prize to your local Veteran organization, you can help! If you need help finding something, reach out to me.
Veterans at TPx
At TPx, we’re committed to not only recognizing the men and women who served our country but providing them with career opportunities in the private sector. We value our Veteran workforce and the invaluable skills and perspective they bring to work every day.
If you’re interesting in joining the TPx team, visit our Careers Page for more information.