Meet Our Veterans - Mike

Global Aviation, Aircraft Captain

Why do you work at Monsanto?
I grew up here in Chesterfield, and when I left the Air Force I wanted to find a job back here in the St. Louis area. My dad worked for Monsanto. My uncle worked for Monsanto. Many of my friends work for Monsanto. My parents both grew up on small farms. I was well familiar with the company, and agriculture, and it was just a great fit. Plus, they offered me a job!

What does your work entail?
My primary responsibility is to safely operate Monsanto corporate aircraft to transport the senior leadership, other employees, and various customers and business guests from one location to another. There’s a lot more to that goes on behind the scenes to keep the department running effectively, but flying the jet is the primary responsibility.

What was your military occupation and what are the similarities and/or differences to the role you were hired to do at Monsanto?
I was a T-38 instructor pilot, and an F-16 fighter pilot. The majority of my flight experience prior to coming to Monsanto was gained in the military. Despite the differences in aircraft, flying is still flying, and so there are a lot of similarities. However, the mission and type of flying that I’m doing now is obviously quite different.

How did the skills you learned in the military prepare you for a career in the civilian sector?
In addition to the actual flight experience that I gained while in the Air Force, the military also taught me a work ethic and sense of mission accomplishment. It taught me that there is more to a job than just occupying time to get a paycheck, but that it’s about actually accomplishing a goal. There are also a lot of additional duties, both in the military and here at Monsanto, that aren’t directly tied to flying but that still have to be accomplished for the work to succeed. It also really helped with the customer service aspect of the job. I reported directly to some fairly senior leadership when I was in the Air Force, and today my responsibilities have me directly accountable to the senior leadership here at the company.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Like most St. Louisans, I’m big into all the local sports teams, and I play on several intramural sports teams as well. Additionally, living in Soulard, I am extremely involved in my neighborhood both socially and in a leadership position on the neighborhood board of directors.