Dear Mr. Fenner,
I, Michael Carrigan, nominate myself worthy of a tool chest giveaway.
I am currently a Staff Sergeant in the US Army and on November 11th, 2017, my 17 year anniversary in the Army and veterans day, will be the last day I will wear my uniform. I am being medically discharged after a very fulfilling job and wonderful 17 years. It saddens me that I did not make 20 but it is time for me to go. I have served the last 13 of these years as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist with 4 combat deployments and 1 non-combat deployment for Hurricane Katrina relief.
I initially joined the military immediately after high school without a lot of focus or drive, all I knew was that I wanted to be in the military but didn’t truly understand the commitment and lacked guidance once I was in. I got out and started work in the computer field. I learned very easily on my own and so I was pretty much self taught on all of my skills. This came back to haunt me when I was laid off in 2004 and had no paperwork to back my skills. I realized I missed the military so I joined back up during the heat of the “surge”. I wanted to be a welder or machinist but those jobs are popular and hard to come by. I found myself as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist. I nor my recruiter knew exactly what the job entailed but I learned quick and found that it was one of the most honorable and fulfilling jobs ever. It was hard, mentally and physically, but I dedicated myself to it and feel I made an impact to many families of our fallen Soldiers and to many young Soldiers I supervised.
In 2005 I knew my time was coming to an end and was introduced into a machining course originally designed for Soldiers separating from the service. It was a full time 5-month intensive course to give Soldiers basic skills to get into the door and survive in a shop, it was not meant to fully train us as a machinist. It was built around the the NIMS certifications: Job Planning, Benchwork, and Layout; Measurement, Materials, and Safety; CNC Milling Operator; CNC Turning Operator. We were not restricted to just those 4 and I being in the 5th iteration of this course was the first to complete 6 and the only to complete 8.
After completing the course I still had time in the military. I worked a deal with my command and a local job shop to intern 3-days a week to keep and build my skills and completed 264-hours.
I feel that I am worthy for a few reasons:
#1 first and foremost is my family. I really am not concerned about myself, it is all about the well being of my family. I will do what has to be done at all times to ensure that my family is taken care of and especially that my son is raised to be a good man. If that is done then I truly feel that I have succeeded in life. Dedicating myself to my training to make sure I have a well paying job is very important to me.
#2 The skills, dedication, motivation, and willingness to help others that I already had in me but the military help perfect. As a leader in the military, we have to train and mentor those under us. I had an approach that if I felt my Soldiers had the skills to step into my shoes then I had trained them correctly. I will apply this same dedication to being a machinist, to always share my knowledge.
#3 I think that being a machinist is fulfilling and fun. My job in the military was great but I was missing one thing, something tangible in my hand when the day was done. I like the feeling of creating things and all of my projects I have done so far have been a blast.
#4 I will not let what happened with my computer career happen again. Certification wise, I am close to completing everything for a journeyman, however I need a lot of hours. I will complete my training so as to not leave myself and family in a hard spot in not being able to get a job again.
The tools would me the world to me (2nd to my son) that would be very helpful in continuing my career. I have acquired some tooling to be able to complete my internship and the company I have been hired at does supply some tools. I still have a way to go to filling out a proper toolbox and anything that I get as duplicates will be shared to pass on to others that may be in need as well. In my video, I don’t think I stressed how important the tools would be. I would never lie and say I have no tools but I by no means have a complete box and the actual tool box I have is a small 3-draw Husky deal. I honestly don’t know what my company will supply they just said “some.”
A real dream is to have a mill and lathe at my house. I have plenty of projects that I would like to complete but already know that I am going to a fast paced company and don’t think I will get to do many personnel projects at work. I would also like to have those at my house to encourage my son to hands on skills, but they will come in time.
My hobbies and spare time is mostly outdoors related; hiking, camping, anything that keeps my son outside and going. He loves science and making things so my wife and I love coming up with experiments and I can’t wait for the day that he can really start using tools, I see a trebuchet in our future I am also an amateur photographer and love anytime I can get outdoors to take some pictures.
My Youtube nomination video can be found here: https://youtu.be/SFiT0hFPMsA
Thank you for the consideration by yourself and the voting members.