Veteran profile: Temple uses Navy skills as Unum engineer

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Veteran profile: Temple uses Navy skills as Unum engineer

James Temple, senior technical support engineer, has been with Unum for 18 years.

Here in a Q&A with WorkWell, James talks about how he integrates his skills he learned in the U.S. Navy into his daily tasks at Unum.

WorkWell: In which branch of the military did you serve?

Temple: I served on active duty and in the reserves for 11 years in the Navy. On active duty, I was an Aviation Storekeeper on the USS Saipan (LHA-2), a Landing Helicopter Assault ship, out of Norfolk, Va. You may have seen my ship in the 1986 Clint Eastwood movie “Heartbreak Ridge,” which showed the Saipan in the 1983 invasion of Grenada. I was on the ship at the time. I was also deployed to assist with military operations that involved the bombing at a Marine compound in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 US service personnel.

WorkWell: How was the transition from the military to corporate America?

Temple: Unum made the transition easy by offering several professional opportunities and making available any needed training to complete these assignments.

WorkWell: What impressed you about Unum?

Temple:  A couple of things really impressed me, including how Unum is known for its values and demonstrates its commitment to customers and to connecting veterans with careers.  I was also impressed with how Unum and its employees work so hard to earn the respect and appreciation within the community through volunteering, generosity and contributions.

WorkWell: What did your time in the military teach you and how are you applying what you learned to your corporate life?

Temple: The military not only teaches you skills, but also work related attitudes that help you get the job done. For example, the importance of having a team versus an individual outlook, drawing on each other’s talents and working together to complete an assignment. I also learned how to perform under pressure and to have the initiative to work out the best way to get the job done. Additionally, the military experience exposed and taught me how to work with people who had very different backgrounds from my own.

WorkWell: Is there anything else about your military career that you’d like to share?

Temple: I think I’ve always been patriotic and had a great love for my country. I believe that my time in the Navy really helped me develop an even greater loyalty and love of our great nation. It also gave me a deeper understanding of the importance of serving others.