Thank you, Veterans: A Message from GeoStabilization International

American FlagHome of the free, because of the brave. On Veterans Day, we honor and celebrate the courageous men and women who put their lives on the line for all Americans through their service in the armed forces. We recognize those who led the way before us and remember those who lost their lives in service.

As a proud military employer, we understand the invaluable skillsets our service members bring with them each day. Mitigating geohazards requires a unique level of commitment, a level head under pressure, and the humility to know that being a good leader can also mean being a good team player. Our working environments can be intense, and every employee must perform their duties in a precise and unified manner while always keeping the safety of their teammates a top priority. These are the same qualities that are forged in the military, and the reason we are committed to recruiting and retaining Veteran employees.

Our comprehensive Veteran program helps provide a smooth transition to the civilian sector, bridges the gap between Veteran and non-Veteran employees, and offers internal resources to help with career advancement. Currently, 12 percent of our employees have served and/or are actively serving in the military.

“Hiring and retaining Veteran employees has always been a priority for GeoStabilization International. I believe that with every Veteran hire, our company gets better,” said Colby Barrett, Board of Directors Vice Chairman at GeoStabilization International and former Marine Corps Officer. “The values of the Veteran community, particularly their dedication to a mission of service, are vital to the work we do – and we are incredibly grateful for each Veteran that has chosen GeoStabilization as their landing spot.”

Veteran Spike


Spike Priestly joined GeoStabilization in 2007 after having previously worked with founders Al Ruckman and Bob Barrett. Having gained trust with the team, joining them as a superintendent was an easy transition. Today, Spike is the Mountain Pacific Regional Operations Manager – a role that holds many similarities to his time in the military, specifically regarding structure, accountability, training, and a clear path for advancement.

“I’m thankful for my time in the Navy for providing an experience that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, and for gaining a first-hand understanding of the selflessness of our service members and of the ultimate sacrifice given by so many,” said Spike. “And I’m incredibly proud to work for a great company that honors our nation’s Veterans.”

Spike served in the U.S. Navy from 1990 to 1994, where he worked as an electrician and aircrewman for HSL-33 SH-2F Anti-Submarine Helicopter Squadron on North Island, California. He was part of the last deployment of the aircraft before it was decommissioned. During his time with the Navy, Spike was deployed to the Persian Gulf War and worked with the Coast Guard aiding in drug operations.

Veteran Stefan


Stefan Brown served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a rifleman in the 2nd Battalion 7th Marines stationed in 29 Palms, California. During his time with the Marines, Stefan worked as a SAW gunner, team leader, and squad leader – and served two deployments at Okinawa, Japan.

“My military experience taught me how to lead from the front and to take initiative. These are skills that I utilize every day at GeoStabilization and ones I see in my fellow Veteran colleagues as well,” said Stefan. “Veterans are used to working in high-stress situations, which translates well to our work here. With experience working in tight-knit groups, Veterans also bring an instant camaraderie to the team and a drive that resonates throughout the company.”

Stefan was drawn to GeoStabilization because of the critical work performed and the growth opportunities available. He has been with GeoStabilization for seven and a half years and is currently a Senior Superintendent.


Mike Barnhill has been with GeoStabilization for eight years and is currently the Mountain Pacific Field Lead. He was introduced to GeoStabilization by a family member and is grateful to be able to experience new areas of the country and to work alongside a team of individuals – including his fellow Veteran co-workers – who are committed to protecting communities from the dangers of geohazards.

“Veterans are unique in their own right. In our work at GeoStabilization, they bring a sense of confidence, yet are humble; are firm, yet understanding; and are passionate and dedicated,” said Mike. “They understand being away from family, are adaptive and will overcome challenges to provide the best solutions to each of our customers. What they are not willing to accept is defeat.”

Veteran Robert


Robert Vick joined GeoStabilization International in 2019 after being introduced to the company when working for the Tennessee Highway Department. As a superintendent, Robert is responsible for the safety of his crew and production quality. He credits his time in the U.S. Marine Corps for preparing him for this role.

“Our work doesn’t come without risk, and to be successful, we have to have confidence in our abilities, complete trust in our team, and humility to know when to learn from others – no matter your tenure. Doing so ensures safety in our work and enables us as individuals and a team to improve every day,” said Vick. “These are invaluable skills that the military and my military brothers and sisters instilled in me, and I’m grateful to be able to use on a daily basis.”

For Robert, military service was a family affair. In 2009, he followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps when he proudly joined the Marine Corps. While in the armed forces, Robert worked as a Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Gunner and was based in California and Okinawa, Japan. He also served a deployment in Jordan, assisting with the Syria Refugee crisis. As a Marine, Robert gained invaluable experience that he contributes to his success at GeoStabilization.

Veteran Cheyne


Cheyne Miller spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat engineer and squad leader. He was introduced to GeoStabilization through the company’s Veteran Hiring program, which aids in the transition to civilian work. He credits the support of GeoStabilization and his team members for his smooth transition out of the Marine Corps, and his time in the military for his success at GeoStabilization.

“The mindset coming out of the military is to always do the right thing,” said Cheyne. “During my time in the Marine Corps, I learned how to stay calm in stressful situations, to problem solve through every challenge faced, and to have my teammates’ backs through thick and thin. Transitioning away from the family unit and structure the military provides is a huge shock and can be incredibly challenging. I’m thankful to GeoStabilization for making that transition seamless, and for the camaraderie of my teammates that continues to provide a familiar military feel.”

Cheyne joined GeoStabilization as a Field Technician in 2018, and through his can-do attitude, passion for the work at hand, and dedication to continued learning has since become a Geohazard Mitigation Superintendent. He also continues to serve his country with the Tennessee National Guard.

Veteran Kaleb


In addition to his role as a Soil Technician at GeoStabilization, Kaleb Nicholas currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was initially interested in GeoStabilization after learning how military friendly the company is.

“I’m thankful to be able to continue to serve my country with a company supporting me instead of going against me,” said Kaleb. “My military experience goes hand-in-hand with the work at GeoStabilization in regard to managing equipment and having the discipline necessary for the success of the job and the safety of our teams.”

Kaleb also credits his work at GeoStabilization with helping broaden his military skillsets. He has been with the Reserves for four years, working as a combat engineer – and he hopes to continue to serve his country for many years to come.

Please join us in honoring all our service members – past and present. And to each of our 66 Veteran employees, thank you for your selflessness in serving our country and for bringing your best every day. We are incredibly honored to work alongside you, and to have you as part of the GeoStabilization family.

To learn more about our Veteran hiring process, visit:

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