It is no secret that companies benefit from a diverse mix of employees, including those who have served our country. We at ON Semiconductor are fortunate to employ many of our active and retired service men and women across the country.
One of these amazing individuals is retired Lieutenant Colonel Darren P. Hooks, based at our corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Our diversity and inclusion initiative wanted to take some time to ask Lt. Col. Hooks about his time in the military and how it helped him transition to civilian life.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (D&I):
What branch of the military did you serve in and for how long?
Darren Hooks (DH): I was in the United States Air Force for over 24 years and retired as Lt. Col.
D&I: Why did you join?
DH: My love for structure, discipline and service motivated me to join. This originated from my passion and progression within the Boy Scouts of America.
D&I: Why did you choose the U.S. Air Force?
DH: The U.S. Air Force chose me. Starting with the Boy Scouts, I transitioned to Army Junior ROTC in high school where I eventually progressed to the highest rank of Battalion Commander. During enrollment in college, I also intended to continue participation in the Army ROTC. During freshman registration, outside on a hot and humid Alabama summer day, both Army and Air Force ROTC recruiters were set up side by side. Strategically, only the Air Force ROTC recruiters offered free hot dogs, sodas and chips. That is how the Air Force chose me.
D&I: Do you come from a military family?
DH: I am the first and only (within a family of 10) to join the U.S. military.
D&I: What was your job/assignment?
DH: Throughout my extensive military service, I served in multiple career fields that include civil engineering, communications, and command and control squadrons.
D&I: Where are some of the places you were deployed?
DH: Military deployments to Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
D&I: Once your service ended, what were your next steps? Did you work or go back to school?
DH: Following military retirement, I focused solely on my career with ON Semiconductor.
D&I: What led you to ON Semiconductor and what do you do now?
DH: Motorola recruited me right out of Tuskegee University. I started at Motorola Government Electronics Group before going to Intel Corporation for a period, before returning to ON Semiconductor (formerly Motorola) for a 16-year tenure as a project/program manager.
D&I: How did your military experience influence your career? Do you see connections between your time in the military and your time with ON Semiconductor?
DH: The military instilled within me structure, discipline and teamwork. I credit the military as the foundation of my success at ON Semiconductor. Our company and coworkers supported me tremendously during my multiple military deployments and made coming back to civilian life easier than it might have been otherwise.
D&I: Looking back on your military service, do you consider it to have had a positive impact on your life?
DH: Yes. The military has taught me immeasurable life lessons, and I would not change it for the world.