Billy Dee puts his mechanic skills learned as a Marine to use as a field service technician.
Billy Dee’s job as a Marine wasn’t fixing trucks (he was a machine gunner). But when he was stationed in Iraq from 2005 to 2006, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom 5 through 7, “I worked on trucks sometimes if they went down,” said Dee. “There was a very big shortage of mechanics, and as a company, we had to be self-reliant.”
Today he puts those skills — the mechanic skills, that is — to use as a field service technician, aka road mechanic, with United Rentals. The 32-year-old has been with the company for about a year and half.
He credits life in the military with helping him excel at his job.
“I drive out to wherever the customers are and repair their equipment on-site. A lot of the environments are stressful, there are a lot of moving parts, and it can be very hectic. You have to be prepared for anything. It can be hazardous work, and you have to keep your head on a swivel,” said Dee.
“My time in the military definitely made me a better employee today. It taught me to be stay alert and aware, and to be able to just kind of deal with situations more smoothly.”
(Those same skills likely also come in handy in his personal life. “My hobbies are my 3-year-old daughter and 3 ½-month-old son,” he laughed.)
Dee isn’t not the only one who values his military experience. He described receiving a package in the mail last year from United Rentals containing decals for his service truck and hat, dog tags “and a certificate thanking me for my service.”
The gesture made him even more confident he’d chosen the right place to work. “I find United Rentals is a great environment, very respectful to veterans,” said Dee. “It’s just a really, really good company.”
Writer-editor Deborah Skolnik frequently covers business topics. Her articles have appeared in major publications including The New York Times, The New York Daily News, CNN.com and Forbes.com.