Serving in the military is in Raymond Crone’s DNA. Every male member of his family had gone into the military, so as a youngster, he patiently waited until it was his turn to follow them.
Once he was old enough, Crone (’08) applied for and received the Air Force’s top national scholarship. After his first year in that program at Central, however, he realized his future may not be in the Air Force. Fortunately, the Army agreed to take on his contract, allowing Crone to join the Army ROTC program—regarded as the top program in the nation at the time—for the rest of his time at Central.
“I commissioned into the Army in 2008,” said Crone. “At that time, we were the number one ROTC program in the nation, and we were very proud of that accomplishment.”
Immediately after graduating, Crone became a combat engineer in the Army. Over the next decade, Crone deployed three times, twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. By the end of his service, he had risen through the ranks to become a brigade staff officer.
Once he left the military, Crone joined up with a commercial fishing vessel heading to Alaska for a year. That experience led him to purchase a tugboat so he could explore Washington’s waterways.
But after a few years on the water, Crone decided to join the corporate world. He applied for three jobs at Amazon, hoping to hear back about one, and received offers for all three.
“Amazon really values veterans, and I was really impressed because I felt like my military experience was really valued by them,” he said.
Crone began his career at Amazon as an operations manager for delivery operating, and recently took a position as an operations manager for the Machine Learning Analyst Team under Alexa.
“Sometimes, as a veteran, you look at your skill set and don’t see how it translates to these corporate jobs,” he said. “But they value leadership as a quality, and have a lot of respect for veterans.”