Serving up success at Amazon: Q&A with veteran Andrew Johns
Q: In what capacity did you serve in the U.S. military?
A: I joined the Army as an 11B (infantry) in 1999. I was in pre-Ranger school when 9/11 happened. I spent a little over 10 years serving, with two deployments, both to Iraq. As a scout team leader, I worked with Navy SEALS, Air Force J-TAC, Marine RECON, and Army Rangers conducting some pretty intense missions. During the last three years of my service, I was a cadre member of the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) that assisted wounded warriors in an array of areas. I decided to get out in 2010 and pursue a college degree.
Q: When did you join Amazon? What is your current position in the company?
A: I finished my degree and joined Amazon in January 2018 at BWI2 (a fulfillment center in Baltimore). I am an L5 Area Manager, working in the inbound (stow) department.
Q: How has your military background helped prepare you for your current job?
A: Two primary military background traits are being able to lead a team that comes from a diverse population and being able to think quickly on my feet. I may be different than the people I lead, but that will always be the case. The ability to connect, relate, and communicate is vital to leading a successful team. Amazon needs people who can make a decision on their toes and roll with it. The same thing applies to a combat situation. One mistake that can cost lives is to freeze and not make any decision.
Q: How does Amazon support your career goals?
A: Amazon is deep-rooted with values. It is a very large organization that has structure. We work as a team. I would like to make an impact on everyone and in everything that I do. With Amazon, I feel that I have the opportunity to do just that.
Q: What's the best thing about coming to work each day? Is there a "perk" to your job that might surprise people?
A: Every day is not a bed of roses—and that is going to apply toward any job, toward any field. I came to Baltimore as a man of faith. I wanted to make an impact in people’s lives. Here, I get the smiles from associates that will make any moment a bed of roses. I am part of a team. And hearing associates tell me that work and what I have been able to help them achieve was part of their dinner table talk the night before is extremely rewarding.