Local News

Retired Soldiers Go From High-Risk to High-Tech

Posted April 29, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— There is a new battlefield for former members of the military. Many soldiers are taking their experience in the service and breaking into high-tech businesses.

Experience with computers and other technology makes soldiers perfect candidates for high-tech positions. As they retire from theArmy, many soldiers are choosing second careers on the cutting edge.

Clarence Briggswas once a major in the Army. He supervised soldiers in war. Now, he is leading a platoon of a different sort as owner and president ofAdvanced Internet Technologies.

"I feel like if you can get through Ranger School successfully, you can accomplish just about anything," said Briggs.

Briggs is not alone. More soldiers are now owners of high-tech businesses.

"The technology they use in the military is very transferable to the business market," said consultant Kelly Puryear.

They are not just qualified because of their technological experience. They have leadership skills, too.

"What I did learn was how to organize people, how to focus and do what it takes to get the job done and best utilize resources," saidEdwin McDaries, AIT marketing chief.

AIT'S accomplishments have attracted international attention. In just four years, the Fayetteville-based company has become one of the largest privately held web hosting companies in the country.

Briggs says much of the company's success has come from formerFort Braggtroops. Eighty percent of his workforce has a military background.

"There is a wealth of leadership, technical and managerial talent there waiting to be tapped into by private industry, and to date, no one has done that. But we, of course, are doing that," said Briggs.

Briggs thinks more companies will think about locating in Fayetteville when they realize the technical talent that is available. There is even talk of Fayetteville becoming the nextRTP.