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Honoring Those That Serve: Aireon’s Derek Fleck

Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice of our country’s armed forces. This week, Aireon highlights the military service careers of some of our colleagues and shares valuable lessons learned from that service.

Derek Fleck, Aireon’s Director of Business Development for Defense and Intelligence, served 27 years in the United States Navy, retiring in 2022. His most recent post was the Deputy Director of Special Communications for the National Reconnaissance Office. After he retired, Fleck joined Aireon, bringing many of the values and work experiences with him as he transitions to civilian life.

Derek Fleck Takes First Solo Flight Over Corpus Christi, Texas, 1996

The variety of jobs I held during my military service taught me how to adapt to new environments and opened my eyes to opportunities I had not previously considered.  It also gave me an appreciation for the fact that to successfully adapt to new roles, you must be willing to learn”, Fleck said.

Derek Fleck at Aireon HQ in McLean, Virginia

In his role at Aireon, Fleck supports the mission of the U.S. armed forces in a very different way, working for a company striving to create safer skies across the world via its ADS-B data products. “At Aireon, I enjoy being part of a successful team. In the military, the idea of team tends to happen naturally, but that enjoyment can exist in almost any organization that shares a common purpose.” 

Veterans Day 2022 will be the first Fleck will be observing as a civilian, and he said that changes how he will mark the day. “I haven’t really thought of myself as a veteran, so maybe that will take some time. Because of that, on Veteran’s Day my mind immediately envisions other veterans, and typically the ones closest to me – family members.  It has always meant taking time to recognize the number of people who came before me and sacrificed a little of their freedom to provide us security,” he said.