Home|Nintex Blog|Not just mortars, “computer stuff,” and jumping out of planes

Not just mortars, “computer stuff,” and jumping out of planes

Honoring the stories of our service members and military families.

Whether it’s spending months under the ice of the Arctic Circle, having full families of service members, jumping out of airplanes, earning local celebrity status, being shot at and mortared, or swimming out of helicopters (yes, you read that right!), our incredible veteran colleagues and their families have an array of rich, surprising, and sometimes harrowing experiences from military service that have shaped who they are and, in a few cases, brought them to Nintex.

Read on for some amazing “waries,” in honor of Nintex’s veteran armed forces and families.

Nick Shaffer

Senior Engineer

Veteran, U.S. Army

My immediate run-up to working at Nintex was serving in the U.S. Army for six years. The highlight of my service was during my station in Vicenza, Italy. I regularly worked with NATO partners, jumped out of planes, and traveled to many countries, including Slovenia, Germany, and Poland.

Following the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, my unit strapped on parachutes, flew out of Italy, and jumped into a beautiful grass field in Poland. From there, we spent three months participating in training events with the British, Canadian, and Polish militaries (this entailed lots of guns, explosives, and jumping out of planes together). As a result of this part of my service, I earned Polish, U.S. and Canadian Airborne wings. The Department of Defense website also showcases photos of me training a Polish soldier on a .50 caliber machine gun.

Wesley Nelson

Sales Development Representative

Veteran, U.S. Navy

I was a submariner in the U.S. Navy and earned my dolphins on board the USS Hawkbill (SSN-666). During my service, we completed two science exploration deployments to the Arctic Circle, spending months underneath the ice and mapping the ocean floor.

The second deployment was documented by CNN where I got a couple of shout outs as a young man driving the sub. Back then, my last name was Buckner – see if you can spot me!

Dan Stoll 

Director, Technical Product Marketing

Veteran, Australian Army

Let me tell you a warie as we like to call them!

My entry into the military was in July 1998. Living in a small town called Rupanyup, in Rural Victoria, Australia. I knew I had to get out of there before I got stuck. I had been to university to study commercial radio, and saying, “I learned that I did not mesh well with the culture of that industry,” is an understatement. Military service felt like a great option to do something meaningful and ‘unstick’ myself from rural life. Being colorblind meant that the Army was my only option, as far as any military service was concerned.

During this time, everyone was corp. enlisted, so we went to basic training knowing what trade we would be assigned on the other side. In 1998, all they wanted was infantry and since I could not join the infantry due to my colorblindness, I caught a break with a steward assignment (a kitchen hand at the officer’s mess). While this was not a trade I was super happy about, having scored well on my entrance tests and having higher ambitions, I took my chances of getting a transfer.

As it goes, it’s all about who you know, and it just so happened that my RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) at basic training was a high school acquaintance of my father’s. I shared with him my plight, and he helped me with a transfer to Artillery Corp as a “Missile Number.” This was super exciting. Ground to air defense was a hot trade to get into. This was RBS-70s, rapiers: the super big guns.

During my training at the School of Artillery, I received an unwelcome call from the Chief Clerk. Four months after having applied, the medical office on base had rejected my transfer and I would not be sent off to my new posting as a missile number. However, there were solutions proposed.

My options were to become an Army cook, or head down to Melbourne to do “computer stuff.” At this point in my life, I had used computers minimally, outside of playing Sim City 2000 and Doom. But after learning the pay grades, “doing computer stuff” piqued my interest! Fast forward roughly 12 months and I was finally on my way into the real Army, no longer a trainee.

I served seven years throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Oceania, and North America as an ECN 256 Operator Command Support Systems in the Army’s Royal Australia Signals Corp, within Special Operations Command. I worked on some of the most cutting-edge technology, jumped from, slid out of, and even swam out of helicopters, came under fire, built LANS / WANS in pigeon-infested warehouses and tempest tents in the tropics… You know, all the standard IT worker stuff.

I hail from a military family, joining both my grandfathers and a Nanna as a servicemember – they served in the Army and Air Force during WWII. My younger brother also went on to serve six years as a sapper (a combat engineer), seeing humanitarian and reconstruction deployments himself, throughout Oceania and the Middle East.

Holly Anderson

Vice President, Product Marketing

Veteran family member, U.S. Army and Air Force

Both my dad and grandpa served in the U.S. Army. My dad, Capt. Jeff Hofstetter was in the Signal Corps stationed in Germany in the 1970s and my grandfather, Col. Louis Hofstetter, Jr. served in the Medical Services Corp for 25 years, stationed in Germany, Japan and the U.S. – including my home state of Colorado at Fitzsimons Army Medical Hospital. And then there’s my great uncle, who has quite the unique story.

Colonel Hugh D. Maxwell, Jr. was in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years and had quite an exciting career. As a B-24 and B-25 bomber pilot during WWII, he loved sharing stories of his experiences. One of his dogfights was even written about in Smithsonian magazine. After the war, he went into intelligence and was stationed in Japan and at the Pentagon before retiring to Florida, where he became a bit of a local celebrity when he flew a restored B-25 at the age of 99!

Sam Scheer

Manager, Customer Enablement

Veteran, U.S. Navy

In what seems like both yesterday and forever ago, I served in the U.S. Navy for four years (1995 to 1999) as an Aviation Electronics Technician Petty Officer Third Class. I troubleshot and repaired the fire control radar system for the F/A-18 Hornet as well as the ISAR system for the S-3B Viking. My naval career provided me with two WESTPAC cruises onboard USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) aircraft carriers.

But my most treasured aspect of service is as a member of a military family.  My grandfathers were both in WWII – one in the U.S. Navy (a Pearl Harbor survivor) and one in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific. My father also served in the U.S. Army (Vietnam in the Air Cavalry as a mortar company radio operator) and I have two siblings that both served in the U.S. Navy (an Air Crew Cryptology Technician sister and a Submariner Fire Control Technician brother).

Brent Read

Senior Engagement Manager

Veteran, U.S. Army

 I was an 11B (infantryman) for eight years in the U.S. Army. I deployed to Iraq from Fort Stewart, Georgia and served in the S3 Operations shop as an RTO (radio telephone operator) and battlefield tracker. I then transferred to a line unit and served as team lead during our deployment to Afghanistan.

Upon my return to the States, I moved over to Fort Lewis, Washington and was promoted to Staff Sergeant. I served as the Weapons Squad Leader in charge of my platoon’s M240 machine gun teams. Concurrently, I became certified to run ranges from small arms through Stryker Gunnery at the Stryker Master Trainer course.

After eight years, I decided I was nearing my time to leave the army. It was in my final few months in the Army that I went through a Microsoft training program for soldiers with Thomas Bolton (Nintex Sr. Customer Adoption Manager and U.S. Army veteran) which led to the start of my career at Nintex. My colleagues can thank/blame him for that!



At Nintex, we generally don’t jump out of planes or explore the ocean floor, but we do transform the way people work through best-in-class process automation. Read more about the people behind our products or visit our careers page.



Leila Shamas

Leila Shamas is based in Colorado, U.S and is a member of our corporate marketing and communications team. As our global head of talent brand, Leila relishes in seeking out and sharing the unique stories of remarkable people and programs at Nintex, while managing and marketing our brand and who we are as an employer.

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