When I started this article, I knew we had several veterans in the PowerChord office – but what I didn’t realize was that they had all served in the Air Force.

That fun fact turned out to be just the beginning of some amazing and insightful conversations with a few of our team members. It’s also, what I’m sure, is a testament to so many of the heroic, yet untold stories of the veterans that have served our country.

So in honor of those untold stories, I’m proud to introduce a few of PowerChord’s veterans and share how their time in the service has influenced them on both personal and professional levels.

The impact of technology and innovation in the military

Mike Enos


Senior Software Engineer @PowerChord

Air Force Role:

Morse Code Interceptor; Personnel Readiness

How have the technical skills you learned in the Air Force influenced your career?

As a Morse code operator, I was introduced to computer technology and exposed to mainframes early on in the Air Force.

Then a few years later when I got to the personnel side, they started implementing PCs into the career field to automate things. I was able to pick up different programming languages and that’s really how my career as a software developer got started.

Ryan Turner


VP of Digital Marketing @PowerChord

Air Force Role:

Meteorologist and Combat Weatherman

What role did technology play in your career in the Air Force?

I was one of the first in the military to be trained on the Doppler radar. You could literally count the raindrops in the clouds and see lightning in real time to find indicators of what the weather was going to do.

Prior to the military, I was never one to really be interested in cutting edge technology. My time there really showed me how important it was to be an evolver, a beginner, and a revolutionary.

How the Military Continues to Shape your Professional Career

Jacob Bertramsen


Quality Assurance Automation Engineer @PowerChord

Air Force Role:

Aircraft Structural Maintenance

What personal impact did your time in the Air Force have on you?

In the Air Force, everything had to meet specific standards otherwise the aircrafts couldn’t fly. There were also a lot of technical diagrams that you had to interpret to identify what parts need to be fixed and serviced.

It all helped impart a true sense of pride in my work… an ownership of everything I put my name on to make sure it’s done properly. If it wasn’t for the Air Force, I might not have that kind of work ethic.

Don Smolen


Data Specialist @PowerChord

Air Force Role:

Technical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist

What professional impact did your time in the Air Force have on you?

The biggest skill I have carried with me since my time in the Air Force is attention to detail. This is absolutely necessary when working on an aircraft because the life of the pilot is in my hands and it ensures the mission can be completed as required.

That same attention to detail today allows me to complete comprehensive tasks in a shorter amount of time, with fewer errors. It increases my production, and in turn, reduces cost and increases production for PowerChord.

The Power of Leadership

James Stephenson


UI / UX Designer @PowerChord

Air Force Role:

Air Transportation

What personal impact did your time in the Air Force have on you?

I had this one staff sergeant who had a specific go-to guy… someone who had his act together and we all admired. My staff sergeant took me aside one day and said, “You can be him.” And I had never considered that before.

That’s probably one of the biggest things that has impacted my work – someone believing in me and showing me the power of bolstering myself up with hard work.

Thank you to all our PowerChord veterans and those who continue to serve our country.