Lee Kirby is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Salute Mission Critical, a premier IT data center lifecycle services company that recruits, trains and transforms military veterans into world class data center technicians. As Kirby once commented, civilians tend to think of Willem Dafoe in “Platoon” when they hear the word infantry. And yet many of Salute’s best data center technicians once served as members of the infantry, as did Kirby.

Increasing market demand for data centers and an aging workforce retiring in greater numbers from the industry have created a talent shortage. To solve for this talent shortage, this year’s Data Center Austin Conference (DCAC) will focus on the advantages of sourcing data center talent from the ranks of U.S. military veterans. DCAC 2019 will feature several breakout sessions with Kirby and Salute as well as representatives from Orion Talent, Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary. DCAC will take place September 24-25, in Austin, Texas. Eaton, the global power management company, is the event’s title sponsor.

“Veterans represent a unique opportunity for our industry in that no other resource pool has as much leadership training and problem-solving experience,” stated Kirby, who will lead a DCAC panel featuring executives from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Google and T5 Data Centers. “Salute has proven that you can take veterans with any background and turn them into world class data center technicians, and any company willing to invest in a comprehensive training program can do the same or partner with Salute.”

DCAC Founder Kirk Offel, who in addition to being the Executive Vice President of Platform Delivery at Aligned Energy, served in the U.S. Navy aboard a nuclear submarine, couldn’t agree more. “Military veterans who’ve had the experience of shouldering enormous responsibility in extremely stressful, high stakes environments — where mission-critical is commonly a matter of mortality — are pressure-tested to embark on successful data center industry careers,” said Offel. “Having observed and come to know the military veterans who work across Aligned Energy’s security and operations teams, I know firsthand that they bring the same discipline and integrity to serving our data center customers as they once brought to serving our country.”

Also helming breakout sessions focused on the advantages of sourcing data center talent from the ranks of U.S. military veterans are Michael Arsenault, Senior Vice President of Organizational Development at Bradley Morris and RecruitMilitary, and David Coe, Senior Vice President of Strategic Programs at Orion Talent.

“Each year, more than 200,000 military service members transition into the civilian workforce, bringing a wealth of talent and expertise suitable to the tech industry,” remarked Arsenault. “Military-trained talent possess an inherent skill set that allows for seamless transition into roles that involve analytical thinking, structured application and innovation. The data center industry is an ideal setting for job seekers with a military background.”

Coe emphasized the transferability of the military veteran’s skill set. “Military veterans possess many skills that have been transferrable to the data center industry, including technical expertise, communication, hands-on leadership and team-building experience,” stated Coe. “We are looking forward to presenting at DCAC’s upcoming conference to help educate the data center industry on the military talent community, and how they can leverage veteran talent to address labor demands and grow their business.”

Discounted registration to DCAC 2019 is available for all active and retired military personnel. To learn more about DCAC and reserve tickets to the event, visit www.dcac-live.com.