Veterans Day Profile: José A. Vice President, General Manager – Gulf Coast

Military Service

I served 8 years in the Army and retired as a Captain. Most of that time was spent in the 82nd Airborne Division, and I also served in a Ranger battalion in Florida.

What led you to join the military?

I joined the military because I’m from New York, and 9/11 happened when I was in high school. I actually wanted to join straight out of high school, but I wanted to be an officer and the recruiter recommended going to school first. After graduating from Cornell University, I wanted to begin my public service right away leading men in combat. So I joined up and was fortunate to receive my branch and assignment of choice.

How has your military service impacted your life?

My military service instilled a leadership style and principles that have carried with me even after I entered the civilian workforce. What it highlighted for me was the fact that most of the commanders I wanted to serve under and whose leadership empowered me to do my best led through the strength of their influence rather than authority. That’s what I’ve seen here at CRH / Texas Materials Group as well; the bosses you put yourself on the line for and do the best work under are the folks that can leverage their influence to lead. As an employee, you want to do well for them. For myself as a leader, this is what I look to for guidance.

What is something you learned in the military that you still use today?

One thing that the military instills is a sense of discipline, and to do things even though you may not be inclined or like it. For me, being in the weeds and aspects that require high attention to detail don’t come easy to me. The Army taught me the devil is in the details; as a leader, you have to focus on details because many times, it can very well be a matter of life or death. In this industry, details matter in terms of process and especially in terms of safety. Most of our work involves hazardous conditions alongside high-speed traffic or heavy machinery, and it’s very unforgiving. That attention to detail for high-risk areas is something I still carry with me today.