Special ops veterans drawn to Silicon Valley

Companies find their abilities to build teams and think outside the box make them a good fit.

silicon.valley.2

BY JULIE WATSON

Keith David spent years flying around the globe on covert missions, making life-and-death decisions and overseeing multiple units unleashing airstrikes against insurgents. The former Navy SEAL now realizes it was the perfect training for a career in Silicon Valley.

A growing number of U.S. special forces veterans are veering off the traditional path of working for private security firms and law enforcement agencies, and instead are heading into the tech industry. Companies are discovering their abilities to build teams and think outside the box make them a good fit for the innovative businesses.

“It’s very adaptable and flexible, especially a startup, so it’s kind of like the Wild West where there are not a lot of rules,” David, 32, said of Silicon Valley, where he has worked at a robotics startup since October. “It’s more about getting things done and executing them. It’s very much like the SEAL teams in that there is not a lot of control from the top down.”

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