Veteran Employee Story – David Spellman

The Home Depot  |  Build a Career  |

Published in the September/October 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

David Spellman is a Home Depot store manager and a former gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps. During his 22 years of service, his military occupational specialties included motor transport operator, aircraft maintenance clerk, aircraft maintenance data analyst, drill instructor, enlisted instructor at Marine Corps University, and electronic key management systems (EKMS) manager. As an EKMS manager, he was responsible for classified material and classified aviation equipment for an aircraft group.

At Home Depot, Spellman must ensure that the store is optimally stocked and merchandised and that all customers receive excellent customer service. He works closely with associates, department supervisors, and assistant store managers. Under Spellman’s management, stores have received several awards for exceptional customer service, and Spellman has been recognized for several community service projects.

Spellman’s quest to succeed reflects his experience in the Marines. “I have always wanted to be the best at what I do, and I think the Marine Corps helped reinforce that,” he said.

One of his keys to success was staying connected to the non-military world while in the Marines. “I would advise anyone in the military to keep in touch with the civilian work force,” Spellman said. “I worked a part-time job whenever I could while serving. When you serve as long as I did, some people have a difficult time adjusting to starting at the bottom again. It’s a different atmosphere in the civilian work force.”

Skills that helped Spellman succeed in the Marine Corps have helped him at Home Depot, too. “I think the most helpful are time management and organization,” he said. “As a store manager for Home Depot, you must be able to lead, motivate, delegate, and follow up. If you do not practice good time management, things can get away from you. I feel being organized is important in all aspects of work.”

Being positive will also get good results. “While serving as a drill instructor and an enlisted instructor, your attitude and professionalism are paramount,” said Spellman. “I feel that has helped me in my career, as far as projecting a positive attitude, carrying myself in a professional manner at all times. As a store manager, you must lead by example.”

Spellman said that his company believes in supporting the military and hiring the military. “Supporting the military is important to The Home Depot, especially when you consider that about 35,000 of our associates are veterans,” he said. “We are participating in over 100 military- and veteran-focused career fairs nationally to meet and engage vets for career opportunities.”

Support for veterans doesn’t stop when they are hired. “The company supports veterans through numerous Team Depot events, The Home Depot Foundation, and store events,” Spellman said. “Associates that are veterans are recognized each year by the company through the celebration of service events that take place during September to November.”

Spellman said that the key to landing the right job in a challenging job market is to not give up. “Be persistent,” he said. “Work on your resume and interviewing skills before applying for positions. Make sure you inform the potential employer that you are a veteran.”

As for coming to work at a Home Depot store, he encourages applicants to make personal contact and to do a complete job on their applications. “Upon applying for a position, go and visit the store manager of the store you are applying to,” he said. “Let him know who you are and what you can do to benefit the store and the company. When filling out the application online, take your time and pay attention to the questions.”


About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers