After serving in the U.S. Navy for almost a decade and now working in the private sector, to me Veterans Day is truly a special day of reflection and remembrance. This occasion gives us an opportunity to pause and pay our respects to all who have served our country in wartime and peace—including the recent loss of one of our nation’s most distinguished and trailblazing soldiers, Colin Powell.
He was a remarkable public servant whose dedication to this country was evident throughout his career. After rising to the rank of four-star general, he became the youngest and first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then the first Black U.S. Secretary of State.
That same dedication to public service and love of country can be found within our Dataminr family, which has a large community of veterans and Reserve and National Guard service members. Each has made significant contributions to our nation as well as our company’s culture, success and growth.
For many of us, our commitment to serving this country remains steadfast—albeit in different ways. After leaving the Navy, my passion has been to use commercial technology and innovation to support customers in the public sector. This is why I find my work at Dataminr—using our artificial intelligence (AI) technology for social good—so rewarding and important. I’m proud that our technology helps make a difference in the world—every day.
It’s not easy for me to say what the best way to celebrate and honor our veterans is. It’s a particularly bittersweet day for us—even more so when we think of the ones no longer with us. Although it has been more than 25 years since my fellow squadron members and I served together, we still make an effort to gather on Veterans Day to catch up, support each other in our own endeavors and remember the friends who lost their lives in the service of our country. The bonds we formed in the military really do last a lifetime.
While I appreciate the national parades and ceremonies, I consider helping veterans transition to civilian life to be even more essential, particularly as our veterans continue to face crises of rampant homelessness, mental illness and poverty. This is one way to actually make a positive, profound impact on their lives, and to show that they are not only respected but also welcomed back into society.
I believe civilians, especially employers, should have an accurate understanding of the valuable knowledge, skill sets and experience veterans picked up during their time in the military. The same attributes that make military members successful in service make them excellent organizational and community leaders and employees. I’m proud to see Dataminr recognize and value the work ethic, skills and mindset that our veterans bring to the workplace.
Through our Service@Dataminr employee resource group (ERG), we continue to seek new and better ways to support our community of service members and their families. This includes fostering a strong veteran community and championing veteran hiring, as well as programs to assist employees with their transition from the military to civilian workforce. It’s crucial that all of us at Dataminr ensure our veterans feel empowered, included and respected.
In addition, our ERG provides opportunities and space for open and honest conversations on relatable experiences, as well as any other topics members wish to discuss. We also help colleagues across Dataminr understand how critical their allyship is in supporting the military community and their families.
Veterans, I know I speak for all of us at Dataminr in offering our sincere gratitude for your sacrifices, courage and service—past and present. As part of our efforts to build an equitable and inclusive future for all, we will keep working to ensure we do our part to give back to those who have served. We will also continue to open our doors to all veterans as well as transitioning service members.
Jay Humphlett is Executive Vice President of Public Sector at Dataminr. Before joining Dataminr, he was the CEO of Vigilint, a provider of intelligence-driven global health protection for commercial and government clients. Jay also cofounded ValuePoint Group, a private equity and consulting firm focused on the aerospace and defense sector, and served as president of Tempus Jets Special Mission Aircraft Services. His previous experience includes serving as general manager for Raytheon’s Special Mission Aircraft division and as a Naval Flight Officer flying F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets for the U.S. Navy.