Air Force Veteran Recalls Service Experience that Shaped His Career
May 27, 2021: Joe Micucci served 25 years in the Air Force, including eight years while also working full time supporting the broadcast at QVC. To his mind, one experience led to the other.
“I’m incredibly blessed, fortunate, and sometimes lucky to be where I am today,” said Joe, VP of Global Broadcast Engineering for QVC and HSN, who rose to the rank of Master Sergeant in the Air Force before retiring. “I truly believe that if I hadn’t enlisted all those years ago, I wouldn’t be leading this amazing global broadcast engineering team today.”
Joe’s story is one of many that Qurate Retail Group has been celebrating throughout Military Appreciation Month to honor those who are serving or have served in the U.S. military. Our Small Business Spotlight has been featuring 26 Veteran-owned businesses this month. In addition, our team member resource group for veterans (Vets@QRG) marked important military anniversaries and hosted a special event with Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. This nonprofit helps prepare veterans to re-enter the civilian job market so they can bring their unique skills to workplaces across America and build high quality careers.
Joe serves as an executive co-sponsor of Vets@QRG and attributes his leadership skills to his experience in the military. Here are excerpts of the interview that Joe shared with team members.
Why did you join the military?
I went to college but dropped out after a year and a half. I had been working at a fast-food restaurant since I was 16, but I knew the fast-food industry wasn’t my future. I wanted to get experience so I could get a good job, continue my education, and get some guidance and discipline in my life. After talking to a U.S. Air Force recruiter, I decided to join. I was 22 years old.
What were your orders?
I was stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. My specialty met all the goals I set for myself. I was an Airman (E2) Passenger and Household Goods Specialist. I learned every job in the Aerial Port Squadron: driving flatbed trucks, loading trucks, building pallets and assisting in loading them onto C-141 aircraft, and packaging and crating.
In my third year of service, I married and had a son. When I was ready to leave the military, I was hired as an inventory specialist at large aircraft manufacturer.
Why did you stay with the military even after you started your civilian life?
I loved being in the military. When I learned about the Pennsylvania Air National Guard at Willow Grove Naval Air Station (outside Philadelphia), I decided to continue to serve my country as an Air National Guard member. I joined in 1987 as a Senior Airman (E3) Aircraft Weapons Specialist and was trained to check fighter jet weapons systems, wire bombs, and load missiles, rockets, bombs, and bullets on these aircraft platforms. Our mission was Close Air Support (CAS) (covering ground patrol) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR).
Over the next 20 years, while continuing to work for the aircraft manufacturer and then QVC, I held several positions in the Air Force, ultimately reaching Master Sergeant leading 36 citizen soldiers. I am a Persian Gulf War veteran, having served two tours in Operation Southern Watch in Iraq and two tours in Operations Enduring Freedom while stationed in Kuwait. My first deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom was one month after 9/11.
What experience from the military did you bring with you to your corporate roles?
With my experience as a member of the PA Air Guard, my leadership training naturally went to the next level. In the military, we stay together as teams and always look out for each other. I loved the comradery. When I joined QVC, I was able to bring my servant leadership style to the forefront and make this my leadership brand.
Why is it important for you to share your story?
I’m so grateful that my story is a positive one, when many veterans struggle in civilian life. Through the Vets@QRG team member resource group, I am able to give back to those whose served, and I try to help in any way I can to positively impact their stories.