Bromberg Speaks at UTC-4-Vets Veterans Appreciation Event
In a large aircraft hangar at Pratt & Whitney's Connecticut headquarters, more than 300 employees and retirees took part in an appreciation event held last month to show gratitude to the company's veterans who served or are serving in United States military. The event was organized by Pratt & Whitney's newly formed "UTC-4-Vets" employee resource group.
"One of the most important traits of veterans, and the reason we recognize them, is their sense of commitment," said Matthew Bromberg, Pratt & Whitney Aftermarket president and U.S. Navy veteran. "Commitment differentiates and defines veterans. Commitment is the willingness and ability to drive a goal, devote to their country, to their team, to the mission, to themselves. It's what makes veterans unique.
Thank you for coming to today Veteran's Appreciation Event. I want to thank all of our veterans in the audience for their service to our country.
I am Matthew Bromberg, Pratt & Whitney president of Aftermarket and a Navy veteran. I am honored to be the executive champion of the UTC-4-Vets Employee Resource Group.
As we look back at our history, Pratt & Whitney has a heritage of veteran engagement.
Our founders, Frederick Rentschler and George Mead both served our country in WWI, and then together, founded Pratt & Whitney in 1925. Throughout WWII and beyond, Pratt & Whitney's contribution to our country, and engagement of veterans is almost legendary.
Pratt & Whitney's strong engagement with veterans continues today:
There are more stories than we have time to discuss.
With such a strong veteran population, we are here today to recognize and celebrate Pratt & Whitney veterans, employees, friends and family.
We recognize veterans because of their service and devotion to our country. We recognize them because of their strong sense of teamwork. Take Dave Emmerling, for example. At 19-years-old, he had to work together with his shipmates as a team to maintain the safe operations of his ship's nuclear reactor. Dave brings these values to work with him every day at Pratt & Whitney.
We like them because of their leadership experience. Greg Treacy is another example. Greg learned that leadership can be the difference between life and death. Greg flew SH60 Seahawks and H2 Sea Sprites on night missions over the Pacific Ocean. Greg brought that leadership philosophy to his role as general manager of the Compression Systems Module Center.
There are many more attributes and even more stories in this room, and if we had time, I would like to talk about each and every one of you.
But in my opinion, one of most important traits of veterans, and the reason we recognize veterans is due to their commitment. Commitment differentiates and defines veterans. Commitment is the willingness and ability to drive a goal, devote to their country, to their team, to the mission, to themselves – that is what makes veterans unique.
Colin Powell said: "The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best."
Commitment is a challenge for many people. They worry about the fear of failure, the fear of standing alone, the fear of moving first. However, commitment is not a challenge for veterans. You learn early that commitment is rewarding, commitment is exciting, commitment is necessary and commitment makes a difference.
I know most of you have experienced a moment – or several – where you realized you are committed – it might have been a challenging situation where you knew there was no turning back, but you proceeded and you made it through successfully.
My moment was when I was a young ensign in the Navy, serving on a nuclear submarine — the USS BOSTON. When we shut the hatch, submerged, and spent the summer under the polar ice cap — I knew I was committed.
Dan Ward, president of UTC-4-Vets and member of the Pratt & Whitney Systems Design and Component Integration, Advanced Programs Engines Group, was committed when he led a 30-person team to clear a route littered with IEDs in Iraq.
Mike Flatley, Military Engines' Israel program manager, recalls his "moment of commitment" came as a midshipman. He was at the helm of a 44-foot sailboat out in the Atlantic and the only person awake above deck, responsible for the safety of nine other crew members.
You don't have to teach a veteran about commitment. As veterans, it is natural to make commitments to our customers, to our teams and to our company. It is a leadership skill that transcends all ranks and levels of the company, and it's what makes the difference between good and great.
I want to thank each and every one of you for the commitment you have made to this country – and this company.
I have some questions for everyone in the room:
Personally, I know that I have not done enough. We want to make UTC and Pratt & Whitney the employer of choice for veterans. We want to make UTC recognized in Connecticut and in the country for our veteran outreach programs. We want to make the UTC-4-Vets organization vibrant, dynamic, fun and relevant. We want to do this because it is right because our veterans deserve it and because it is good for Pratt & Whitney. The Employee Resource Group is committed to do more. I am committed to do more. Will you?
Now, for the best part of event.
Please join me in welcoming General Chandler to the stage.
General Chandler is a retired U.S. Air Force General, as well as the vice president of Business Development and Aftermarket Services for our Military Engines business.
When General Chandler was a young Air Force captain, he faced the decision all service members face: leave the military and seek a civilian job or remain in the service. He looked at many opportunities, and compared exciting jobs and bigger salaries to the opportunities in his unit, to his team and the commitment and love they had for each other. His decision was made. He stayed in.
And as an employee of Pratt & Whitney and a citizen of this country, I am grateful he did.
After this decision, this commitment, this individual served 30 more years in the U.S. Air Force rising to rank of 4-star general.
Some of you may not realize that, at any given moment, there can only be nine active-duty, four-star generals in the Air Force. In fact, there have been only a few more than 200 four-star generals in our Air Force since it was formed in 1947. So it is truly a great honor to hear our own four-star General Chandler speak today.
Please join me in welcoming General Chandler.
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