Every November 11th in the US is a day dedicated to the less than 1% of our population who have served in the military. That’s right: Today is Veterans Day, and we at Drift are taking this time to celebrate veterans and learn a little more about the people who have served this country.
And what better way to do that than to listen to their stories?
That’s why, this particular Veterans Day, we are lucky enough to hear directly from some of the veterans who currently work at Drift. Their service spans multiple branches of the United States Armed Forces, and now their dedication and expertise is helping to transform the technology space. We’re so grateful to them for sharing their stories with us, and we hope you will be too!
So, without further ado, here are the stories of four Drift veterans — what they did during their service, how they made the transition to a career in tech, and what Veterans Day means to them.
Tim Mossholder, Senior Professional Services Engineer, Former Surface Warfare Officer @ US Navy
During my time in the Navy, I had the opportunity to serve aboard a cutting-edge technological platform — the tip of the spear for overseas maritime security and freedom of navigation. And, in hindsight, that was where my interest in high tech really started.
As the Anti-Terrorism/Weapons Officer, I led a team of 60 that was in charge of all ship-mounted weapons, as well as all the small arms and personal equipment for security watch standers. My job involved ensuring harbor security, training the crew, and coordinating all travel outside the US for crew members with family overseas.
With highly-advanced technology at our disposal, we were able to engage a wide variety of civilian and military vessels in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and throughout the eastern Atlantic Ocean — and, as a result, we made sure that international waterways were free from illicit trade, piracy, and aggressive foreign military intervention.
I think it was during my time on board the USS Barry (DDG-52) that I came to understand the value of having a highly-trained, well-orchestrated team to operate a technological platform. It was here that I knew I had found a place where I could truly thrive — one that combined strong team camaraderie, continuous training, and cutting-edge technology.
Throughout my career since the Navy, I have pursued similar environments where I feel challenged to grow personally while exploring the capabilities of a technically sophisticated platform. Drift affords me exactly that opportunity, especially as a Professional Services Engineer!
(Also, this was the one time my sailors actually let me hold anything of importance.)
Nick Masters, Director of Solutions Consulting, Former Pilot @ US Air Force
Growing up in the military-rich environment of San Diego, I was quickly exposed to the life of aviation. As a kid, my dream was to be a professional baseball player but my “fallback” plan was to fly in the military. Needless to say, the baseball passion faded and I spent my college years in the Air Force ROTC.
After finishing college with a degree in marketing and being accepted into pilot training, I spent the next 18 months in one of the most advanced, technical military training programs. During my 10 years of active duty, I flew C-17s, served as an instructor pilot on the T-6, traveled to over 40 countries, and literally flew around the world.
When deciding to leave the Air Force, I transitioned into GE Aviation’s highly-acclaimed Military Officer Leadership Program before pivoting to life in the tech industry.
To me, Veterans Day is a time to be thankful for the 1% of our population that served in the military — and a time for me to remember how much responsibility I handled at such a young age. The Air Force was a stressful environment, but it allowed me to excel and understand my true capabilities. Cheers to those who have served and the support we get from those who didn’t!
Shane Moses, Senior Solutions Consultant, Former Helicopter Pilot @ US Navy
As cheesy as it sounds, I first considered joining the military when I was 11 years old when my Boy Scout troop camped aboard the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was there that I watched the movie Top Gun for the first time — and what 11-year-old wouldn’t think that was cool? When 9/11 happened, that childhood dream turned into a real-life goal.
I attended the US Naval Academy, earning a degree in systems engineering. Not only did I learn how to be a naval officer during that time, but I also got my first taste of nerding out on code and robotics. After that, I went on to flight training and spent 10 years as a pilot for the MH-60R Seahawk Helicopter, deploying twice overseas.
As an instructor pilot on my last tour, I knew I had achieved all I wanted and that it was time to pivot to a career in tech. One of my mentors connected me with my first job working as a Customer Success Manager at Box. Fast-forward a few years, and I’m now a Senior Solutions Consultant here at Drift!
Veterans Day to me is a day to reflect on the life lessons and experiences I had in my 10 years in the US Navy, how they’ve opened doors for me, and how they’ve shaped me into the person I am today. I think about the people I served with, raise a glass to them, and am thankful for the opportunity to have served my country.
Joshua Perk, VP of Pre-Sales, Former Intelligence Analyst @ US Air Force
I joined the Air Force to follow in my father’s footsteps — a veteran of the Gulf War as well as Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. While I wasn’t nearly as rad as my dad, I had the opportunity to join an elite profession in the service as an intelligence analyst.
Similar to my courageous colleagues above, my career field had an extremely high “wash-out” rate, with a significant number of candidates never actually graduating. This high bar set the theme for the rest of my life and career. Whether it was memorizing hundreds of weapons systems, identifying 50 enemy aircraft from their silhouettes at a distance of 10 nautical miles, or giving an intelligence briefing in a room filled with tear gas, the Air Force helped me gain grit. It also gave me perspective as to what truly matters in life and how molecular my problems are in the grander scheme of things.
I ultimately spent the majority of my career split between two missions: an airborne mission where I helped plan ingress and egress paths for pilots while writing doctrine, and a space mission focused on early-warning missile detection. I was also fortunate enough to earn a spot on the Buckley Air Force Base Mile High Honor Guard in Colorado where I had the privilege of honoring fallen heroes and performing Colors ceremonies at community and sporting events, such as Broncos, Rockies, and Avalanche games.
To me, Veterans Day is about celebrating the bond and camaraderie that exists between those who chose to partake in such a wonderful experience. I am appreciative of all who served and those who support us.
Thank You, Veterans!
We are so grateful to these Drifters for their service and for sharing their stories with us! We’re incredibly lucky to work alongside them at Drift. Don’t forget to thank a veteran in your life this Veterans Day.