Service inspired by family

You might say there’s a tradition of serving the military in the Martin household.

Mike Martin is a financial center manager with Bank of America in Southfield, MI who has compiled nearly 30 years of service to his country, between active duty and reserves with the Marines and the Navy.

Martin has had a unique career path to financial services. He joined the Marines directly out of high school. After serving, he went into law enforcement, working as a police officer in Florida, before getting into finance. He joined Bank of America through a predecessor bank, Michigan National.

I’ve always had my bank in my corner.

Mike Martin
Bank of America

His status as a military veteran changed when 9/11 happened. After a plane hit the South Tower in the World Trade Center in New York City, where his former company was located, he felt the call to serve his country once again.

“It was one of my life’s aha moments,” said Martin.

With his intense desire to serve again, he joined another branch of the service, the Navy. His tours of duty included work in airport forward logistics, managing air traffic and the flow of troops and equipment at a base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). His job in the Marine Corp was in air traffic control, so it was a natural fit and an easy transition. He has since continued his service in the Navy reserves. Currently, he is a Chief Petty Officer assigned to Naval Operations Support Center Detroit.

Martin’s dedication to military service was inspired by his father, William, who was a Marine and served in Vietnam.

Recently, Martin spoke about his father’s service at an event in Detroit promoting the PBS documentary series “The Vietnam War” by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Although William Martin didn’t speak much about his service during his lifetime, after he passed, his son found some of his father’s writings, including a term paper written for a college course.

“I joined because I wanted to be more like my dad,” said Martin. (The elder Martin worked as a police officer as well.)

Although working in the military and in consumer finance may seem like two very different careers, Martin says there are skills he learned in the military that he’s been able to bring to his work at the financial center.

“I think it made me better, as far as my organizational skills,” said Martin. “It made me more well-rounded.”

Martin admits the transition to civilian life wasn’t without its challenges.

“I had to remember I wasn’t in the military,” he said. “I had to get used to not being that drill instructor.”

The support he received from Bank of America and his teammates helped greatly. For one, he doesn’t have to worry about his position when he deploys with the Naval Reserves. He’s also able to connect with other Bank of America employees who have served in the military through the company’s Military Support & Assistance Group (MSAG). Coincidentally, Martin’s former commander, Captain John Weires, retired, is the co-lead of MSAG for the bank.

“The bank was and is always there for us, my family,” he said. “I’ve always had my bank in my corner.”



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