We’ve shared the story of Sandboxx and our two co-founders, our CEO and our Chairman, but there are many more people that make up the team here at Sandboxx. Today we want to introduce you to Army National Guard veteran, Phil Linder, our Head of Operations.
Name: Phil Linder
Branch of Service: Army National Guard
Years of Service: 10
Sandboxx Title: Head of Operations
Since Phil can remember, all he ever wanted to do was fly. He attributes military movies and stories for driving his desire to join the military as it had shown him the strength and resilience of the military which he admired as well as coupled with his passion to take to the skies.
“I chose the Army because I wanted to fly helicopters. Air Force is an obvious choice or even the Navy in terms of flying but I loved helicopters and wanted to fly rotary wing which the Army use, almost exclusively.”
He successfully applied to West Point and started his college and Army career there. After 2 years, he decided that learning in a civilian school would add to what he had learned in the academy so transferred to the University of Kentucky and entered into their Army ROTC program.
After he graduated with a degree in Political Science and Government, Phil went on to flight school for the next 15 months where he qualified as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot.
Upon qualification he became the platoon leader with 2-147 AVN, leading a platoon of 15 aviators and soldiers for just over a year. He was then transferred to 1204th ASB and served the next 2 years as an Assistant S3, supporting the operations officer in planning and training for a 200+ solider Battalion.
He transferred to HHC, 63rd TAB, Kentucky Army National Guard and became a CPT where he was part of a team responsible for the development, planning, and synchronization of the brigade’s long-term operations and training. He got out as a Captain after 10 years of service.
“Serving in the Army made me appreciate what good leadership is and instilled in me a sense of honor and ethical standards. The military provides a lot of tough experiences that gave me the opportunity to push my boundaries.”
While beginning his transition out of the National Guard, Phil obtained a Master’s in Public Policy. He worked a little bit before meeting a close friend of ours, Sam Meek. The rest, they say is history and Phil has been a core member of the Sandboxx team for over a year now.
Phil said it was the perfect fit, he wanted to work in a start-up and help build something and as a service member transitioning out, working with a company like Sandboxx would utilize all the knowledge he had gained, both in the military and in school.
Final Thoughts from Phil
What do you do at Sandboxx and why do you like working here?
I run operations and fulfillment for Sandboxx, I’m the one responsible for getting Letters to where they need to be, and working with military mailrooms across the country to ensure that Sandboxx Letters are received and distributed to the recruits. It’s great to see the positive impact these Letters have on the recruits in basic training.
Currently we have the capability of printing 14,000 Letters per day, which is a lot. But we are diligently working on improving Sandboxx even more. My job is to find solutions to help optimize our process and find and develop new ways to improve our Letters product.
Later this year we will begin transitioning from our self mailer style Letters to an envelope based product. This change will help allow us to print and mail up to 20,000 Letters a day, which is great for our users.
One of the benefits of Sandboxx that so many users love is the speed of getting Letters to base. When we print and ship Letters we sort them by units to make it easier for the mailrooms on base to distribute the Letters. There are a lot of little details that we look at and pay attention to daily that help us provide our users with a great service.
I’ve really enjoyed being able to help build something from the ground up, and am excited for what the future holds for Sandboxx. It is great to be a part of a team that is passionate about providing tools to help our military community thrive.
How important is Sandboxx’s mission of supporting service members?
Sandboxx helps recruits in the military stay connected, gives them reasons to stick with boot camp, graduate and be successful. The tools and technology Sandboxx provide are much needed in the military community, which has been traditionally underserved by technology making what we do here really special.
Advice to anyone going into the military or in the military
There are many different ways to serve your country so it’s important when considering joining the military that it is the right choice for you. Once you are certain of your decision, it will make training and service much better knowing that it was the right path for you.
Most importantly, serve others before yourself. Regardless of what position you hold, whether you are the one in the military or supporting someone else, the military community is all about the team and putting others before you so be selfless in all that you do.