Kevin Murray, Ohio CAT, Equipment Management Analyst
On Veterans Day, I Build America Ohio is honoring the men and women who served our nation, first through active duty and then through a career in construction. These individuals show up daily with pride, respect, and honor in the work they do, and we are proud to have them as part of Ohio’s construction workforce. Join us in thanking them for their service to our nation!
Name: Kevin Murray
Position: Equipment Management Analyst for Ohio CAT
How many years have you been working in the construction industry?
5 ½ years. Since I was discharged from Active Duty in June of 2016.
Please share a general overview of your time in the military.
I enlisted in the Marine Corps directly after high school in 2012. My job was Motor Transport Operator, where I was assigned to a Combat Logistics Unit out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Our main focus was the transportation of personnel, equipment, and goods. In 2013 I deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where my unit was tasked with providing logistical support to the numerous Forward Operating Bases within the area. We also provided combat support to other units by assisting them if their equipment became immobile, damaged, or they needed more security. After returning back to the U.S in 2014, I was put in charge of our fleet of trucks where I spent the rest of my term ensuring they were maintained and accounted for.
After your time in the service, how did you get involved in construction?
Once I made the decision not to re-enlist, I started looking for jobs as a technician. I was open to different types of work, but I felt like the construction industry made the most sense for me. I did my best to explain how my experience in the military translates to the civilian jobs I was interested in. I applied online for a position as a Heavy Equipment Technician and was offered the job once I was discharged.
What do you take from your time in the military to your work in construction?
A big part of my time in the military revolved around trucks and heavy equipment. Not only operating them but repairing and maintaining them as well. Although most of the equipment isn’t what you encounter in the United States on a daily basis, a lot of the same fundamentals apply. I was able to gain a general understanding and increase my knowledge of diesel engines, hydraulics, air brakes, and trailers. The experience from my time in the Marines directly corresponds to the construction industry and helped me prepare to transition into a civilian career in which I could utilize those skills.
How can construction benefit from including more veterans? How can veterans benefit from construction?
No matter the branch of the military or the job assigned, you are trained to get the job done at all costs, and you are taught a variety of basic fundamentals to accomplish that. Learning traits and characteristics like accountability, leadership, and professionalism are things you take with you after your time in the military. By hiring a Veteran, you know that they are committed to the end goal because of their understanding of the big picture. I believe you need employees with those traits to be successful in construction.
The construction industry revolves around timelines and deadlines. In my opinion, you need people to play different roles in order to meet those goals. The training you gain while enlisted in the military gives you first-hand experience of how a team can work together to meet the end goal. In turn, that experience will prepare you to transition into the construction industry because the principles and understanding that you are taught closely correlate to the same mindset that you need to have in the construction industry.