Retired Marine Mike Rau helps keep Astec workers safe

Mike Rau

Safety is a core value at Astec, and as the company’s Health & Safety Manager, Mike Rau is at the forefront of making sure we practice safe work procedures every day.

Protecting others is a responsibility he takes seriously, ingrained in him as a 22-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Mike retired a Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical Defense Officer after serving combat deployments to Iraq, Beirut, Somalia, and the Falkland Islands.

Despite being with the company for only six months, Mike has found a home at Astec and is excited for what the future holds.

For Veterans Day, Mike shared what he learned during his time as a Marine, how he’s using that experience in the manufacturing sector, and advice for veterans looking for a career after the military.

Q: What’s a lesson you learned in the military that you apply at Astec? It’s important to work as a team. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so always pick up those around you to ensure you finish together at the end.

Q: Was the transition to corporate life easy or were there challenges? For me it was very easy, but I know it can be a struggle for others. I looked at it as another mission I needed to succeed in. The military taught me the importance of being able to adapt and overcome, which helped me in the direction that I took in my transition.

Q: What advice do you have for new workers out of service? Seek out other service members at work, or a buddy you can talk to, to help you navigate this big change. The right person can help you acclimate to your new surroundings and serve as a sounding board for questions and concerns.

Q: Should veterans consider a career in manufacturing? Absolutely, a lot of the skills we gain in the military are transferable to manufacturing, including team leadership, familiarity with heavy equipment and how to maintain it, welding and other technical skills that are frequently used. Recruiters should also focus on hiring more veterans. Military men and women are disciplined and loyal, which are great traits to have in all types of business settings.

Q: What has impressed you about Astec? The pride a lot of Astec team members take in the job they’re performing. The quality and precision they use daily is truly remarkable. It is so great to see what is formed and developed from a pile of steel in a matter of a few days. 

Q: What would you like others to know about your service and military career? In my 22 years of service, there isn’t a moment I regret. It was an honor and pleasure to serve to protect the freedom of this great country. I would do it all over again!

Thank you to all active duty and retired military personnel for your service.

Veterans have skills and experiences that are applicable to the manufacturing world. If you have friends and family who might be interested in a career with Astec, point them to our Careers page.