Doug Ullrich had enough to think about as he geared up for a deployment to Kuwait last year.

An Army Reservist, he was going to command a battalion of 330 soldiers, providing communications support for Army forces conducting high-profile missions in six Middle Eastern countries. He had to make sure his family was prepared for his time away, which included a month and a half in Texas training up for duty. Then came nine months in Kuwait, a place that he describes as “so hot it makes Tucson weather feel mild.”

The one thing he didn’t have to worry about: Whether his team at TEP would support him.

“I knew it was also a sacrifice for the company,” said Doug, who started with the company in February 2019 as the Supervisor of Enterprise Cyber Security Engineering. “My team was going to have to cover down for me while I was out.”

A member of the Veterans Business Resource Group, Doug wanted to share his appreciation for the support the company provides for veterans, reservists and National Guard personnel.

He recently presented CEO Susan Gray with a flag that flew above the battalion headquarters in Kuwait, displayed in a case handmade by Doug’s friend, Gerry Blondeaux, the supervisor of the IS-PMO team and a veteran himself. Doug also placed in the display a battalion coin of excellence, traditionally given for a job well done.

“We talk about being the employer of choice. We historically have been, and for veterans, we continue to be,” said Doug, who has served his country for 19 years, four of them on active duty at Fort Huachuca.

“Joining the Army was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” he said, noting it helped him obtain his degrees, including a master’s degree in Information Technology Management. It also provided him with leadership training and deep technical knowledge that has served him throughout his career.

He had a previous deployment to Qatar for nine months as well, serving as the communications director for a task force charged with defeating ISIS.

“It’s nice to bring awareness that there are folks in our organization who are veterans and yet are still serving,” he said. “I’ll keep serving as long as I feel like I’m making a difference and having a positive impact.”

Susan said she was humbled at receiving such a meaningful recognition. “Veterans have experience coming together as a team from all walks to achieve ambitious goals. That’s why I’m not only grateful for the sacrifice they make for the rest of us, but also for making our company stronger by modeling a continued commitment to service and drawing strength from diversity.”

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