Antonio Diaz joined the Marines to see the world. He did just that, traveling to Spain, Cuba, Poland, Bosnia, Japan, Morocco, Somalia, Kuwait and Guam as an infantry machine gunner, explosive ordnance disposal technician, security forces and on the fleet antiterrorism security team.
Many of the skills Diaz developed in the Marines were specific to the military and also applicable to civilian life.
“Taking apart bombs with small tools — I learned problem-solving skills and deductive reasoning,” Diaz explained. “These are skills that carry over to pretty much anything. Start at the beginning, and think about how things work and why.”
In 2023, Antonio Diaz knew he was ready to leave the Marines and settle down back home in Missouri with his wife and two daughters. Diaz worked with Tyler Reyes, EquipmentShare’s military and veteran recruiting program manager, to get started on his SkillBridge internship.
SkillBridge is a Department of Defense (DoD) internship program that helps military members find civilian careers. EquipmentShare is an authorized DoD SkillBridge location, welcoming hundreds of soon-to-be veterans to the program each year. The internships allow for participants to learn and try different roles within the company and be considered for full-time employment once the internship is completed.
When service members are transitioning out of the military, SkillBridge internships offer the chance to gain valuable civilian work experience. Authorized SkillBridge locations, like EquipmentShare, offer specific industry training, apprenticeships or internships during the last 180 days of military service.
"The unique skill set of veterans makes them a perfect fit for EquipmentShare,” Reyes said. “The core values of EquipmentShare are drive, humility, integrity and intelligence, all of which are taught in the military. In our veteran population, we can find candidates with excellent teamwork, organization, communication and leadership skills.”
Diaz was intrigued by the variety of roles EquipmentShare offered and was ready to take on a new challenge.
“I was pretty open to anything. I had 10 years in the military and learned a lot, including soft skills, and I was hopeful I could find a new job and learn new skills anywhere,” Diaz said. “The growth of EquipmentShare was appealing to me. I can grow along with this company.”
Diaz began his SkillBridge internship with EquipmentShare’s Kansas City branch in August 2023 and tried several roles — yard technician, CDL driver, sales and the parts department. After interning at the rental and sales desk, he heard about an open position for a rental coordinator, and he’s been in that role ever since. Rental coordinators are responsible for sourcing equipment for customers from the fleet and arranging for pickup and drop-off when that equipment is rented. This allows the customer to have a seamless experience and get the equipment they need quickly.
“EquipmentShare is a complete change of pace from the Marines, but I can still apply a lot of my skills from the military to this job,” Diaz said. “And it’s a great place to work. EquipmentShare benefits and pay are great, and the camaraderie is awesome. I felt welcomed like I was part of a team from day one.”
Diaz was hired in the rental coordinator role full-time for EquipmentShare Kansas City in December 2023 and plans to stick around. Diaz's goals for 2024 are to grow and learn in his role at EquipmentShare and put down roots with his wife and daughters in Kansas City.
“Everything I heard about EquipmentShare has come true,” Diaz said. “I get the hype now.”