November 11, 2022

Harness Honors Harnessians Who Served This Veterans Day

Table of Contents

Key takeaway

November 11 is Veterans Day, which is an important day for our US team where we honor all military personnel who have served, or are currently serving, in the United States Armed Forces. On this day especially, we take pause to recognize how adjusting to civilian life can be a difficult process. Reconnecting with family and friend groups, finding new communities, preparing to enter the workforce, and learning to relate to people who don’t understand the military experience are just a few of these challenges. 

One of the main goals of our veterans group at Harness is to create a sense of community for former military members and create opportunities and pathways for more veterans to join our team. This month, Harness recognizes and celebrates Veterans Day by highlighting two Harnessians who served. Learn about their stories below.

Michael Wolfe

Senior Large Enterprise Sales Engineer

Michael went to bootcamp at Parris Island (aka “The Rock”) located in Beaufort, SC. His military occupational specialties (MOS) were the Marine Corps Cyber Network Operator (0651) and Defense Messaging Systems (0653). He was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA. He joined Harness in May of 2022 as a Senior Large Enterprise Sales Engineer.

What do you remember about the day you enlisted? 

I remember being extremely sick the morning I left. I was running a 103-degree fever when I arrived at Parris Island. To make matters worse, we spent the next 72 hours awake, and I didn't feel better until four days in, when we were finally picked up by our Battalion.

Can you describe a funny moment from boot camp? 

We had a guy named Perillo from New Jersey who would get in trouble multiple times a day with the drill instructors (DIs). We lived on the third floor, and when you got in trouble, the DIs would take us down to the sand pit (where they would make us do exercises) and then back up three flights of stairs. This would go on repeatedly throughout the day. I remember asking Perillo,”Why do you purposely get in trouble?” He replied,”The way I look at it, this is my gym, and these guys are my personal trainers. Wanna know what the best thing is? I don't have to pay for it!”

How did your military service better prepare you for a job like Harness?

I think it gave me the understanding that simple, repeatable tasks are great candidates for automation. I can relate to doing a task 100 times in the military and thinking that there's got to be a better way to do this! Same goes with what we do at Harness. We provide that better way for our customers, so they can not only improve, but finish their mission for their customers.

David McNamara

Staff Database Reliability Engineer

David served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a seaman, sonar technician, and shipyard resident inspector. He attended boot camp in Cape May, NJ and served in Woods Hole, MA; San Diego, CA;  Boston, MA, Portland, ME; as well as the Caribbean, North Atlantic, and Bath, England. He joined Harness in November 2021 as a Staff Database Reliability Engineer on the Platform Security and DevOps team.

What did you do in the Coast Guard?

Because the Coast Guard is responsible for so many things, each of its members tends to have many jobs... especially those stationed on cutters. At one point while on the Cutter Chase, I had six duties: standing sonar watches, maintaining sonar equipment, sonar supply clerk, ship system admin, bow propeller operator during mooring and unmooring, and maintaining a section of the hull. Out of all those duties, operating the bow propellor on the bridge as we entered and left ports was by far the most fun and memorable. Listening to dolphins and snapping shrimp during sonar watches was second.

What Coast Guard memories will you have forever?  Good, bad, or sad.

There are so many!

  • The times out with my crew mates in a wild variety of locations
  • Fleet Week in New York
  • Dolphins swimming/racing alongside our cutter at ~17 knots (~20 mph)
  • A double rainbow with a 16th century fort in the background as we approached Old San Juan
  • Fog, fog, and more fog in the North Atlantic
  • Playing my keyboard in a three-person band while the ship rolled intensely
  • Breakfast with a friend's family on Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty outside his kitchen window
  • 140 desperate refugees standing in a boat designed for five people
  • Riding my motorcycle on MCAS Miramar imagining I was Tom Cruise
  • Watching a plane refuel at 30,000 feet during a MAC flight
  • Firefighting school and a surprisingly hot yet distant burning building
  • Movie night in Guantanamo Bay's outdoor theater
  • A family on our mess deck rescued after running aground
  • Unnerving "I'm about to break" sounds our ship would make in rough seas
  • Working in the bowels of a bilge amidst thick swirling dust and smoke with sparks flying from welding and grinding

How did the Coast Guard change you?

It made me take things more seriously, and take ownership and responsibility for everything I do...or don't do. And because I am a peacetime veteran it made me respect and honor veterans of all wars much more deeply – people I still think about almost every day.

I think especially right after you become a civilian again it's hard to understand why people take so many important things lightly and so many unimportant things seriously. Some of that feeling wears off over time, but I don't think it never completely goes away. I appreciate everything more than I did before. Simply knowing I have more than a week's food at home makes me grateful because I've seen people who had nothing.

Almost anywhere you live after the military will be under better conditions. For 26 months, I shared a living space with nine other people that was 8 feet wide x 21 feet long x 7 feet high with one toilet and one shower. Some college dorms might be somewhat comparable to that, but at least there you can get away and walk around the campus!

The work ethic it engrains in you lasts – hopefully forever. Out at sea, I stood 56 hours of sonar watch per week and fulfilled the five other duties I mentioned earlier, so 80 hours per week, minimum. That was only 12 months combined during my enlistment though; the rest was easier. Every job within the military and Coast Guard will have its own cadence. Search and rescue small boat crews may be quiet for days or weeks, but after a hurricane those people will barely sleep for days.

But my final answer is: It changed me for the better.

Harness Honors Those Who Served

We’re grateful for the perspective our former military employees have shared with us, and for their willingness to be vulnerable and embrace our core value to remember the human. To all veterans everywhere, thank you for your service today and everyday. 

To all vets, our team has pulled together some of their favorite veterans’ benefits to share:

  • LinkedIn provides all Veterans 1 year of LinkedIn Premium for free. It's super simple to sign up, and you can go back every year and resubscribe. 
  • VA home loan
  • Lowes 10% military discount
  • Home Depot 10% military discount
  • Apple's 5-10% military/government discount 
  • Verizon 8-10% discount
  • Lululemon 15% military discount
  • Nike 10% military discount
  • Under Armour 20-25% military discount
  • Ray Ban 10-15% military discount

If you are a veteran and curious about joining a technology company, we would love to talk to you about how your skills and experience could transfer to a role at Harness. Check out our careers page to see what positions we are hiring for, or join our Harness Talent Community on LinkedIn to stay connected and in the know.  

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