EDITOR NOTE: Kellogg is more than a business. They are a company with heart and soul, driven by a diverse and inclusive community of passionate people making a difference. Each May, in recognition of Memorial Day and Military Appreciation Month, Kellogg employees and members of their K Vets & Supporters Business/Employee Resource Group, visit Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek, Mich. Recognizing service men and women who paid the ultimate price, Kellogg employees clean gravestones, rake grass and help with overall ground maintenance.
Jeff Pierce, Lead Packaging Engineer, Kellogg North America Morning Foods and Retired Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, shares his experience cleaning gravestones in memory of our fallen soldiers this Memorial Day, along with his time as a Kellogg employee and member of K Vets & Supporters
After some attention and a little TLC, the gravestones of service men and women shine with glory in the summer sun. Each May, in recognition of Memorial Day and Military Appreciation Month, my fellow K Vets & Supporters visit Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek, Mich. to clean gravestones, rake grass and help with ground maintenance. A peaceful and humbling experience, cemetery cleanup is how we pay our respects to those who have served and gone before us.
My Career in the Military
A veteran myself, I had an extensive career in the military. I served in a variety of Security Force roles, mostly concentrated in nuclear weapons, presidential security, counter-terrorism and air-based ground defense. After active duty, I joined the Air National Guard and was called back to serve following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.
K Vets & Supporters Business Employee Resource Group
As a retired Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, I am honored to be a Kellogg employee and a K Vets member. K Vets & Supporters (K Vets) is one of eight Kellogg Business/Employee Resource Groups (B/ERGs) and an organization that celebrates military service, supports veterans and regularly highlights the benefits of supporting those who serve.
When I joined Kellogg 10 years ago, I started as the Maintenance and Reliability Manager at our Battle Creek, Mich., plant. I soon learned of K Vets and became an active member. Through my position and efforts in the B/ERG, I had the opportunity to prove my drive, determination and extensive skillset – qualities I developed from my time in the military.
From Maintenance to Engineering
Leadership quickly took notice, and, taking a chance on me, extended an offer to join Kellogg’s engineering department. True to the company’s K Values, this showed true integrity and respect, recognizing me for my diverse background, experiences and ideas. The K Values shape our Kellogg culture and are at the core of who we are, what we believe and are what brings us together as a global team.
The K Values
The K Values – integrity, respect, accountability, passion, humility, hunger, simplicity and success – are similar to what I learned and lived in the military. I am proud to work for a company that truly lives these qualities. Today, I have the great responsibility of designing Pop Tarts packaging as the Lead Packaging Engineer for Morning Foods Research & Development.
Kellogg – A Company for Veterans
Recently, Kellogg was recognized by DiversityInc as a Best Company for Veterans and included on the Military Times list Best for Vets Employers 2018. Dedicated to recruiting and retaining veterans, the company has a dedicated Veteran Career website listing available positions and information on the company. It’s clear that Kellogg is a company that lives its K Values.
My time in the service taught me a great deal about the world and myself, shaping my values and beliefs. Traveling through 40 countries, I had the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people, either alongside them or as a guest in their country. I am proud to work for a company that incorporates its values into its DNA and believes in a diverse and inclusive environment. Kellogg is a company that is proud to recognize our service men and women.