IREC leads the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. Offered at no cost, the fellowship matches solar industry employers with service members who are in transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

Desmine Greene: Branch Manager, Standard Energy Solutions

Desmine Greene began his Solar Ready Vets fellowship at Standard Energy Solutions in September 2021. Two months later, he was hired for a permanent position as Branch Manager.

Desmine graduated in 2010 from the University of South Carolina with a degree in business management, and then joined the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the 82nd Airborne, which is famous for its ability to respond to any crisis in the world within 18 hours, Desmine became an expert in logistics management while also serving as a parachutist in field operations. He served two tours in Afghanistan, rose up in the ranks, and eventually managed hundreds of people as a Support Operations Officer.

When it came time to make the transition to civilian life, the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship program connected Desmine to Standard Energy Solutions, a solar and energy services company for homes and businesses based in Columbia, Maryland. “They were looking for somebody that had done the same thing I did in the military: running a warehouse, operating logistics, managing operations, and things of that nature,” Desmine says. “Hiring Our Heroes prepared me for my transition.”

Desmine oversees the company’s new Richmond, Virginia office, where he manages six people including the utilities coordinator, site survey officer, and install team. Although he started the job with no experience in the solar industry, Desmine took the initiative and grew quickly into his new role. “I had to rely on my subject matter experts and the individuals here who have solar expertise,” he says. “I soaked it in as a sponge and we came together to make something happen.”

Desmine’s experience coordinating and ensuring personnel and operational readiness has proved highly transferable to managing inventory and tracking project completion, and leading a cohesive and highly effective team. These leadership skills will be an asset as Standard Energy Solutions continues to expand across the Mid-Atlantic region. “I have a heart for training and mentoring,” Desmine says.

Standard Energy Solutions speaks highly of their experience with Hiring Our Heroes and the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship program. “The level of candidates from HOH was exceptional,” says Director of Operations Brian Desmond. “All the candidates we met were highly professional individuals, each offering a wide range of experience leading teams to accomplish a goal/mission. Another common theme with all the candidates was a genuine excitement about the prospect of being involved in a fast growing industry,  to learn new things and the potential of a career, not just a job. As Standard Energy continues to grow, we plan to continue to partner with HOH to help us fill critical roles in our organization.”