The Uplight team came together last week to commemorate Veterans Day – the company hosted a virtual workout, honored a moment of remembrance at 11 am reflecting on those who gave their lives in the line of duty, and carved out time for a forum in the late afternoon to give employees who served in the armed forces a voice, and others a chance to listen and ask questions. The day’s events align with a broader effort within the company – to address head-on our unconscious biases, and to learn more deeply about one another.
I joined Uplight last winter as an active duty Marine, having been granted approval by my chain of command to complete an internship during the final months of my service obligation. The Marine units I served in were in some ways a far cry from a software company, nevertheless I’ve seen many parallels since I started at Uplight. Above all, similar to the military, my colleagues here are focused on a purpose much larger than themselves, and much larger than this company, which is to create a more sustainable future for all.
Every year, over 200,000 service members transition from active duty into civilian jobs, and many are interested in the advanced energy sector. Solving problems related to the clean energy transition presents veterans such as myself the opportunity to continue mission- and service-oriented work of immense consequence.
Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors see the looming risks of climate change first-hand. I was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina when Hurricane Florence rolled over the state in 2018. The destruction Florence left in its wake as well as the time and energy spent on recovery in the following months was palpable evidence of how climate-related disasters intersect with national security. Many of us leave the military wanting to do something about this, shifting from a necessarily adversarial mindset to one underpinned by collaborative problem solving to address a truly global threat.
I am excited to see how Uplight might become a pivot point for more veterans who are passionate about driving together towards a zero-carbon future.