More Than a Trophy for More Than a Bowl Game
A C-130 Hercules, an F-18 Hornet, an AH-1 Cobra and a Littoral Combat Ship. What do these four platforms have in common? Besides the obvious – that they are operated by U.S. armed forces –parts of each of these platforms were forged together to form the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy. All across Lockheed Martin there are employees who flew, maintained, served on or built the military platforms that are a part of the trophy.
Lockheed Martin currently employs more than 22,500 veterans, and in 2014 alone, employees gave more than 35,000 hours of their time to volunteering to support veteran causes. These statistics speak to a mission that employees across the corporation carry with them – to do our part in protecting the men and women of the armed forces by producing the highest quality product possible.
“We have so many employees who are veterans themselves and know what it’s like to make the sacrifices our armed forces make,” explains Larry Gallogly, a 30-year veteran of the United States Air Force, former C-130 pilot and current C-130 Domestic Business Development Director. “I feel like the work I do, I do out of patriotism and I believe many of your employees also feel that sense of patriotism.”
Larry also happens to be an alumni of the Air Force Academy, who will face the University of California, Berkeley, in this year's bowl game. “I’m excited to root on my team during the game – and maybe even see some familiar faces of fellow employees in the crowd!”
Even those employees who aren't veterans themselves feel a strong tie to the military. One of those employees is Ben Skurdal, a liaison engineer on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Class program. Ben helped build the USS Fort Worth, the exact ship that is in the AFB trophy, and says the company’s sponsorship of the Armed Forces Bowl is just another example of how our employees aim to serve the armed forces in and outside of work.
“As the largest defense contractor, we’re known mostly for our quality products and our excellent employees,” says Ben. “But beyond that, where we as a business can support our motto, ‘we never forget who we’re working for,’ outside of our day-to-day work, I think that’s just a fantastic thing to do,” says Ben.
Randy Sherman is a Weapons Systems and Weapons Delivery lead at Lockheed Martin and a retired Marine. He says that learning that the trophy contained parts of an F-18 and a Cobra, both aircraft he worked on during his time in the Marines, makes him feel like his work has really come full circle.
Left to right: Larry in the cockpit of a C-130; Ben holding a photo of an LCS; Randy (right) with a fellow Marine in front of an AH-1 Cobra.
“I write the procedures and data for the folks in the field who will be loading the weapons on the F-35 Lightning II,” Randy explains. “Knowing that you’re supporting the people that essentially took your place in the job you used to have really bring its home,” says Randy.
“I love the interaction that I get to have with the customer in my job. I’m actually pretty jealous of the men and women who do the [weapons loading specialist] job in the field now. To be able to work on the 5th gen F-35, like they do – it’s a pretty awesome plane.”
The motto of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is, "more than a bowl game." But clearly the trophy is really also “more than a trophy.”