In honor of veteran’s day, we sat down with Rob Hamon, Director of Energy and Sustainability at Boxer Property, discussed his military career and how he applies those experiences today. Hamon is a former Naval Officer, having served from 1973 – 1994, and he retired as a Commander. Of his 21 years in the service, Hamon spent 17 years in nuclear submarines, carrying out highly classified operations.
Being a part of classified operations (often termed ‘black ops’) meant Hamon and his crew often worked alone, independent of a fleet. They remained accountable to the National Command Authority but otherwise carried out their missions on their own, bearing full responsibility for their actions, and dependent only on each other.
While navigating the seas aboard a vessel staffed strictly by volunteers (as all submarines are), the crew had one priority – to complete the mission. Everything they did revolved around this ultimate goal and what mattered in the end was fulfilling all mission objectives. Knowing everyone wanted to be on that ship fostered mutual respect, trust and appreciation for one another and this understanding helped set any differences aside. The “mission is paramount” Hamon says. Depending on each other ensured that missions were carried out effectively and safely, day in and day out.
Hamon regularly applies these lessons in mission-oriented accountability and dependability, exercising a strong, personal work ethic. At Boxer Property, he assumes ownership of every project in his area of responsibility, and works diligently to ensure his department operates as efficiently as possible to get the job done. In the military, people that are able to make decisions quickly and under pressure, decisions that can potentially affect the safety of the ship and the security of our country are highly sought. Therefore, competency is a trait Hamon seeks in all his associates, inside and of outside the military. He looks for the same ‘mission-oriented’ mindset in his civilian teammates as he enjoyed amongst his shipmates.
The last four years of Hamon’s military service were spent in Colorado Springs , working in the U.S. Unified Space Command. His task was to help the modern warfighter make the best use of space-based resources. He was part of the team that worked to integrate space assets amongst the four services (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines), reducing mission critical delays and enabling new products to be made available to the warfighter in the field. Central to this integration was development of new technologies to control satellite systems, as well as how to champion new satellite programs along standardized lines of development. These concepts are still being used today and continue to improve space-based operational efficiency, reducing response times during combat, saving lives and (importantly) helping to complete the mission.
Working in Colorado taught Hamon to be innovative with a purpose in mind. To develop new functionalities in order to make things run more efficiently, not merely for the sake of innovation. He learned to embrace change and use that momentum to his advantage. Hamon is comfortable working in new arenas, and is not afraid to make mistakes as long as such errors work towards achieving an ultimate goal. The key is to not make the same mistake twice; Hamon learns from them, moves on and encourages his colleagues to do the same. This adaptability he credits to his military training.
“Change is exciting; I see a wave of change coming, I grab a surfboard.” he quips. “If you’re in an industry that changes a lot, veterans are an excellent source of people to help facilitate that change, and the growth that results,” he continues.
Another lesson the military taught Hamon is to constantly seek knowledge.
“Today I woke up older and slower than I did yesterday. If I don’t learn something new today, tomorrow, I’m going to wake up older, slower and dumber than I did today. But I can do something today that will make me smarter. I can learn something!,” he says. Ongoing education, for anyone, is an effort to stay at least one step ahead of the “enemy” whether that enemy is military based, or a challenge faced at work in civilian life. In the business world, gaining knowledge is one form of staying ahead of the competition. With energy and sustainability topics constantly changing, we at Boxer are fortunate to have an adaptable and innovative, self-proclaimed “tech-geek” like Rob Hamon on our team.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we at Boxer Property would like to thank all men and women who serve and have served our country.