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Honoring Flag Day: A perspective from FloridaMakes Business Advisor Rob Caldwell

By FloridaMakes Network posted 06-13-2020 00:00


In honor of Flag Day, we asked one of our team members, who is a U.S. Veteran, to share with us his perspective on the importance of this national holiday. Flag Day, June 14, is the day commemorating the Continental Congress’ 1777 adoption of Betsy Ross’ version of the American Flag. The holiday was established on June 14 by a proclamation from Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and Congress established National Flag Day in 1949.

Rob Caldwell is a US Navy Veteran and the FloridaMakes Business Advisors for the First Coast Manufacturers Association. We asked Rob to give us insight on what Flag Day means to him –– from a veteran’s perspective.

Rob Caldwell

Rob had a long Naval career, including serving on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Staff, and as the Commanding Officer of the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, which Rob highlighted as the most rewarding memory of his service. Following his service, Rob served as the Quality and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager for Vac-Con, Inc, a leading manufacturer of industrial hydro-excavation and sewer cleaning trucks for customers worldwide.

To Rob, the flag symbolizes American endurance, the constant display of surety and pride. The flag is an external symbol of the internal pride we all should have for what America represents and that we owe a great debt of gratitude to those who put on the uniform in defense of our nation. Rob’s biggest takeaway from serving the country was that through traveling around the world, he saw that America has the most freedoms, the most protection, and the most prosperity out of any of the countries he traveled through. “America’s servicemembers come from many different backgrounds,” he explained, “however, they all come together for the common goal of defending our country, the Constitution and the ideals America was built on.”

Rob Caldwell

Rob’s explained that being in the service helped him excel professionally in manufacturing because of the effective leadership qualities he received from being a military officer.

The Navy instilled values that emphasized effectiveness and efficiency, and manufacturing concepts such as lean, theory of constraints, and more were woven into the culture. He believes the transition to a civilian career in manufacturing from the military is seamless, and there are a variety of different tools and programs that manufacturers can use to hire veterans.

Rob Caldwell is helping manufacturers become more resilient in the Jacksonville area. To read his full biography click here. He can be reached at or at 407.450.7205.