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Salute Military Community: Brian Green

What is the Salute Military Community?

The Salute Military Community is a unique cohort of veterans and the military community who serve as examples of the value their experiences bring to our industry. The Military Community supports Salute’s mission and strives to achieve our shared vision of providing veterans and military spouses career opportunities in the data center industry. We are proud of the military community for giving back to other members seeking to start careers in this industry.

Lee Kirby, Salute Co-Founder, and retired Army colonel, interviewed Military Community member Brian Green, EVP & Global Lead of Data Center Engineering, Operations, and Project Management at EdgeConneX and US Navy veteran.

Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

I was born in Quantico, Virginia and grew up in nearby Woodbridge. My father was a proud Marine Master Sergeant and served a 20-year career. My parents instilled in me the values of service to our country, community, and family. I had an idyllic childhood that was grounded in church, academics, and sports. Mom’s dream was for one of the kids to go to Annapolis and I took that to heart. 

And what are you doing today?

Presently, I serve as the Executive Vice President and Global Lead of Data Center Engineering, Operations, and Project Management at EdgeConneX. Following my time in the Navy, I earned an MBA at UVA and spent six years in the telecommunications industry at Sprint. Subsequently, I worked with JPMC in Hong Kong, overseeing Data Center IT migrations. Later, I transitioned to Visa, where I dedicated nine years to data center operations before joining EdgeConneX.

Brian Green headshot

Can you tell us a bit about your military background? 

My military journey began at the US Naval Academy, where I majored in Political Science with an additional focus on engineering electives. Despite my father’s hopes for the Marines, I chose Navy surface warfare. My memorable first assignment involved serving on the USS Wasp during the aftermath of Desert Storm, patrolling off the coast of Somalia prior to the events depicted in “Black Hawk Down.” Subsequently, I spent time off Haiti and then the east coast of the US, before transitioning to a leadership role at Newport, RI’s Officer Indoctrination School. There, I met my wife, making it my fondest assignment.

Brian Green Military Photo

Do you have a memorable story from your military career that taught you valuable lessons? 

I had just been on my first ship (USS Wasp) about 4-5 weeks and completed a hasty turnover from my predecessor. We were conducting flight operations and without realizing it we had a part that was a single point of failure. The part failed during the operation and the way the unit worked, it fed the navigation system so everything failed. Unfortunately, there was no backup part. This was a major problem and we had to shut everything down for 3-4 hours which meant all helicopters had to be diverted to alternate locations.

This is not how you want to start a cruise, but we got the part, restored operations and learned a lesson that would not be forgotten. I learned that when you assume command or take turnover of an operation any mistakes can have significant consequences so take the time to ensure accuracy. As a young officer, I had never dealt with parts planning and did not ask the questions I should have, and I learned that I am ultimately accountable and must take the time to ensure accuracy. This incident taught me the importance of meticulous turnover and assuming command with precision. The lesson of accountability and accuracy has been a guiding principle throughout my career, emphasizing the profound consequences of leadership decisions.

Do you think your experience in the military helped prepare you for business or leadership?

Absolutely. Military decisions carry life safety implications, necessitating clear communication and accountability. This mindset seamlessly translates to the data center industry, where precision and a focus on objectives are paramount.

Is there someone you are particularly grateful to for helping you reach where you are today? 

My wife has been so patient and supportive of my career that her selflessness is humbling to me. I have always appreciated her sense of humor, evidenced when we were deciding where to live after graduate school, she said “I don’t care where we go as long as it is along the coast”. So, of course, the job I accepted was in the middle of the country. When I was offered the job in Hong Kong, she left a tenured university position because she believed the move was the best option for our family. So, while I have had great coaches and mentors along the way, my wife is who I am eternally grateful to.

Why is helping the military community and veterans get into this industry so important to you? 

I believe in the power of mentoring. I’ve witnessed its positive impact firsthand, as both a mentee and a mentor. Sharing experiences and guidance with transitioning service members fosters mutual growth and reinforces valuable lessons learned. I encourage all veterans to take the chance to help transitioning service members because you have been in their shoes.

If you could inspire a movement, what would it be?

I would advocate for a movement guiding young individuals to make informed decisions early in life, avoiding unnecessary pitfalls. My generation has learned from experience, and I’d like subsequent generations to not have to learn the hard way. Exposure to many different career paths to discover what they enjoy, and then finding a path to make it happen beyond traditional education always, could lead to more fulfilling lives and lasting success.

How can our readers follow you online?

If you are a veteran or military spouse looking for an exciting career in a growing industry, contact us at Salute. We can help put you on the path to success.

If you are looking to close the data center talent gap with individuals committed to bringing military precision to their careers, contact us. Employ the heroes of today, tomorrow.

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