B.J. Kirby, now general manager of Industrial Recycling Services, retired from the U.S. Navy in 2012 as a Chief Petty Officer and highly decorated member of three SEAL teams, the Navy’s principal special operations force. He is among many of PalletOne Inc.’s employees who have served and continue to serve our nation through roles in the military.
“Veteran’s Day is about remembering everyone who actually served, no matter how much time or where,” Kirby said. “We always say ‘before, now and after.’ It’s so important to remember that everyone who serves today does so voluntarily.”
Kirby joined PalletOne in 2013 and worked as a HR/safety manager, then a pallet plant manager before accepting the job with Industrial Recycling Services. He was drawn to the company, he said, because of its core values and people-driven culture.
“Being in a SEAL team, every person has a voice. It doesn’t matter your rank or title,” Kirby said. “PalletOne has a similar culture and core values where team members are heard. We are a place of integrity and honesty.”
After attending Tennessee Wesleyan College for two years where he played football, Kirby said he felt called to join the Navy: “I needed to do something more with my life. I always strived to be better. The Navy SEALs were the best.”
After completing training, Kirby was first assigned to SEAL Team 8. In 1997, he accepted a shore post in Panama City, Fla., where as part of his duties he traveled to Newfoundland and worked on the Research Vessel Knorr, the same ship that helped find the Titanic. He moved to SEAL Team 2 in 1997 where he was deployed to Naval Special Warfare Unit 2 in Germany.
In 2001, he became Leading Petty Officer for the Seal Team 4 Delta Platoon where he led a demonstration for then U.S. President George W. Bush. He became Leading Petty Officer of Land Warfare in 2003 with the Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Training Detachment. In 2004 Kirby took over as the Leading Chief Petty Officer of Land Warfare where he implemented new tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting training. In 2007, he was stationed at Special Operations Command, Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
“I worked at a diplomatic level with the State Department, Defense Attaché and host nations for various multi-national missions and exercises,” Kirby said of his last post. “I love to mentor, and I love to teach. I want people to remember the things I taught them that could save their lives if they are in combat.”
During more than two decades of service, Kirby was awarded dozens of medals and other honors including one Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medals, three Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two National Defense Medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, and Sailor of the Quarter for Naval Special Warfare Unit 2, SEAL Team 4 and Naval Special Warfare Group 2, among many others.
We are very proud to employ many of our nation’s veterans and those serving in the military reserves at Industrial Recycling Services. The servant leadership and problem-solving skills our veterans bring to their roles, which includes everything from top managers to equipment operators, help make our companies better places to work.
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