“What The Armed Services and Coca-Cola Have Taught Me…” is an article series spotlighting veterans who are applying their skills and experiences from the U.S. Armed Forces to their work with Coca-Cola. The series will continue leading up to Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Developing as a Professional

Garry Alexis knows how to keep things moving. In 1993, he joined the U.S. Army as a Private (E-2) and retired in 2013 as a Sergeant First Class (E-7) - Senior Supply Sergeant, honing his logistical planning and execution skills for large-scale operations. In 2004, SFC Alexis was deployed in support of Operation Iraq Freedom II, and in 2010, SFC Alexis was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom X and Operation New Dawn. During his last deployment, he applied his logistical knowledge to minimize logistical “choke points” within the Army’s operations. From 2010-2013, he was instrumental in establishing a Central Issue Facility (CIF), completing it three months ahead of schedule. This facility would go on to support more than 113,000 soldiers in Iraq, Qatar, Afghanistan and Kuwait during combat rotations.

“The army gave me my professional foundation in operations and strategic planning,” said SFC Alexis. “It’s where I learned the importance of getting things right the first time and that there can be short-term and long-term effects to cutting corners.”

For his work, SFC Alexis received the Meritorious Service Medal for ensuring no military property was lost or damaged – a significant feat during times of war.

Teams: Our Greatest Resource

Veteran and Coca-Cola Associate, Gary Alexis
Warehouse Supervisor for our facility in the Bronx, New York, Garry manages daily operations.

SFC Alexis has applied what he learned in the Army to his role with Coca-Cola Refreshments. As Warehouse Supervisor for our facility in the Bronx, New York, Garry manages daily operations, including the shipping and receiving of our products, managing warehouse space, stock rotation as well as training and personnel scheduling.

“Having been in the military for 20 years, and a supervisor with Coca-Cola for nine months, I can say there’s really no difference between leading soldiers and managing employees. They’re both about having the right people, in the right place, at the right time to ensure success,” he said. “In both situations it’s about having patience, leading by example, and realizing your team can be your greatest resource. When you create an atmosphere built on teamwork and camaraderie, it makes it that much easier to focus your efforts on being efficient for the business.”

After serving as a mentee in the American Corporate Partners mentorship program for veterans, SFC Alexis will serve as a mentor with the ACP/Coca-Cola Veteran’s mentorship program in 2015.

Coke’s Commitment to Veterans

Beginning in 2015, The Coca-Cola Company will partner with American Corporate Partners to roll out a dedicated mentorship program for veterans to help translate military experience to the civilian workforce. A group of 50 Coca-Cola mentors will be announced during our Veterans Day activities on Nov.1 12, 2014. Visit www.acp-usa.org/Mentoring Program to learn more about this important initiative.