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It Goes Both Ways

It Goes Both Ways
Dan Kent, U.S. Army veteran and Cisco CTO, U.S. Public Sector, recalls his time spent in the military. He talks about teamwork, leadership, and opportunity.
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It Goes Both Ways

It Goes Both Ways

Dan Kent
Cisco
CTO, U.S. Public Sector

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November 11. 11:00 a.m. 11 seconds. What went through your mind? I’ll tell you what went through mine. Leadership. Team. Opportunity.

I’m proud and fortunate to have served in the U.S. Army, for many reasons. I’m also humbled when the country comes together to celebrate Veterans. “Thank you for your service” is something a Veteran hears throughout his or her life, and then another hundred times around Veterans Day. But to me, it goes both ways. Like many other veterans, I believe I received personally as much out of serving in the military, if not more, than what I actually provided to the service. 

For me, the gifts of leadership, value of team and the plethora of opportunities that came from serving, pop into my head when I think of my time in the U.S. Army.  Leadership, because of the initiative that is required to deliver on the mission, and the exceptional leaders you serve under and learn from.  The value of team as you live with and develop into a greater entity together, willing to do anything for the person standing next to you, and for the country you are protecting.  And, opportunities you are presented both within the military and upon leaving the military.  Without my military experience, I wouldn’t be where I am today professionally.  I was fortunate to enter the field of medical research which leveraged my education while serving in the Army.   While in the service, I was also able to expand into information technology and strengthen specific skills which paved the way for me throughout my career as both a leader and a technologist.

So, I heard the words “thank you for your service” throughout the day on Veterans Day. But at the end of the day, I am the one who’s thankful.

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