Gain The Edge: Army Reserve

Infantry Officer Otto Pardon describes how his Army Reserve service helped him develop leadership skills and gain the edge in the civilian job market.
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Major Otto Padron: In the Army Reserve, as a Battalion Executive Officer, you're in charge of a staff of officers and Non-Commissioned Officers that are making missions happen.

Last year I was deployed to Iraq. I spent 13 months in combat. Having to trade your suit for an IBA [Interceptor Body Armor] and having to trade your office for a Humvee in the hot city of Mosul was quite an experience.

Alina Falcon, Executive VP, Operating Manager of Univision: I don't think anyone will say that, you know, being deployed and serving abroad is an easy thing to do. We were very proud of him. He made it clear from the beginning that this was very important for him, to continue his service.

Major Otto Padron: Univision was incredibly supportive, and I'm eternally grateful to the company for that.

Alina Falcon, Executive VP, Operating Manager of Univision: We know that he was highly decorated while he was away. He got a promotion while he was away. So obviously he applied himself completely and was recognized for his efforts.

Major Otto Padron: Coming back from that, of course, makes you a much better person, I think. It allows you to relate to situations that you would have not been able to relate to before. It allows you some perspective as to what's a priority and what isn't a priority.

It was quite a challenge, but more importantly, it was an opportunity to really understand your role in both in the Army and at work. I stay in the Army Reserve today because it allows me an opportunity to work and continue to work on the skill that I think is most valuable in my job, which is to be a leader.