Honoring Those Who Served: Ryan Hietpas

By Briana Dee posted 04-27-2023 10:34


Name: Ryan Hietpas
Company: Metals Service Center Institute
City and State: Rolling Meadows, IL
Current Position/Job Title: Executive Director, Digitalization and Technology
Education: Masters of Public Administration, DePaul University and Bachelors in Operations and Information Management, Northern Illinois University
Military Branch: U.S. Army
Years of service: 2006-2010
Job/MOS in the military: 19D Cavalry Scout
Unit and where you were stationed:
– 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany
– Ramadi, Iraq (2006)
– Baghdad, Iraq (2008-2009)

What is something that will never be the same now that you served? The smell of diesel fuel places me right back into the motor pool, every single time.

What is something new you learned about yourself from serving? I was fortunate to have been stationed in Germany in between my two Iraq deployments. While there, I took advantage of my opportunities to visit world class cities like Prague, London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, and more. I learned that I’ve become a big advocate for urbanism, which is the study of how population of urban areas, such as towns and cities, interact with the built environment. I now advocate for mixed-use development, walkable communities, housing construction, and reliable public transportation for everyone.

How have you applied lessons in the military to your job/career? I’m a big believer of the core values of U.S. Army leadership. A good leader works to ensure their men and women have everything they need to get the job done, including training, time, and resources. In the U.S. Army, leaders live right alongside their people and lead from the front. One example that has always stuck with me is that leaders in the U.S. Army always eat after those they lead, never before.

Do you have a favorite quote, mantra, or personal motto? “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.” – Daniel Burnham

How can the metals industry do a better job connecting with veterans? The industry needs to be where the veterans are and can’t wait for veterans to come to them. That means showing up at job fairs and community events, particularly those focused on veterans. When the industry does show up, bring folks that look like the veterans you’re trying to recruit. A 25 year-old veteran wants to understand the industry from the perspective of somebody their own age and who they can relate to.

Anything else you would like to share regarding your experience? The military gives you whatever you’re willing to put into it. For those looking for life experiences you can’t have anywhere else, the military offers many opportunities.

Ryan, thank you for your service!