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Inspire Brands

Nuclear-Trained U.S. Navy Veteran Shares How Military Skills Translate Throughout Career

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By Jessica Shock

At Inspire Brands, we are proud to support veterans and active duty military members. In honor of National Veterans Month, we’re spotlighting some of the brave service members close to our hearts: our team members.

Joseph “Joe” Heintz is the Director of Food Safety for Arby’s and Jimmy John’s at Inspire Brands. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a Machinist’s Mate Nuclear (MMN) from 1991 to 1997.

For Joe, joining the military was an opportunity to grow and give back. “My father served in the U.S. Army and instilled in me the importance of service to our country,” he says. “I also wanted to challenge myself and mature outside of school and sports.”

Joe served as a Nuclear Power Program Machinist Mate 2nd Class on the Aircraft Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a nuclear-powered carrier that is still in service today and known as the busiest aircraft carrier on the East Coast. Its many counterterrorism and crisis response capabilities make it an ideal choice for missions, and Joe himself was deployed overseas twice during his service.

“I was deployed for Operation Uphold Democracy, the U.S.-led effort to restore the elected government of Haiti in 1994,” says Joe. “And in 1994 and 1995, I was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Southern Watch and Operation Deny Flight.”

While aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, Joe celebrated one of his biggest achievements when he qualified as Chief Machinery Operator on an Aircraft Carrier Reactor Plant. As a nuclear-trained Machinist Mate, Joe underwent rigorous training to excel in duties concerning propulsion and power generation systems.

In addition to his specialized training, Joe also acquired several skills that he continues to apply to his career today. “Being able to create and follow through with plans only increases the chance of achieving your desired outcome,” says Joe. “That includes flexibility, adaptability and compliance, all while making room for teamwork and collaboration.”

Today, he utilizes these skills at Inspire to help Arby’s and Jimmy John’s maintain the highest standards of food safety. Having worked at previous food and beverage companies like The Coca-Cola Company and The Honey Baked Ham Company, finding his role at Inspire is something Joe describes as “serendipity.”

Since joining Inspire, Joe has volunteered to be a part of the Inspired Vets Business Resource Group (BRG). “I’m just beginning my journey,” he says. “I look forward to supporting the Inspire community, both the veterans and civilians.”

To learn more about how Inspire is fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace for veterans and others, visit the Inclusion & Diversity page of our Careers site.