Brenneco Fire Protection

What the Army Taught Brenneco’s Ray Wallace

Ray Wallace is a fire protection advisor and inspection technician at Brenneco Fire Protection. He is also a U.S. Army veteran who says that what the Army taught him sticks with him every day. His background and training are a great benefit to our team.

From Basic Training to Motor Sergeant

ray_smallRay began basic training in November 2003 in Fort Knox, Ky., where he reports he nearly froze. In early 2004, he entered Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He attended U.S Army Airborne School in Fort Benning Ga. during the spring of 2004. Then it was on to Fort Bragg N.C. where he was introduced to the back bone of the Army’s NCO Corp in Alpha Company of the 307th Engineer Battalion.

He was deployed to Afghanistan in May 2005. Ray served in a maneuver company in the Regional Command (East) of Afghanistan in the Ghazni province. At the age of 20, he was promoted to Sergeant. As Ray says, he was old enough to direct men to do pushups before he could drink a beer. He reenlisted in the 94th Engineer Battalion to serve as part of the 232nd Horizontal Company. From there, he got his first shop foreman job, running a motor pool with 200 pieces of equipment. (He says he felt like a king.)

Ray deployed to Iraq October 2007-December 2008. Ray returned to the United States, got married and was promoted at the age of 25 to Staff Sergeant in 2009. He then worked as Motor Sergeant in the Forward Support Company, 94th Engineer Battalion. (See below for awards Ray earned during this service.)

Ray left the Army to pursue opportunities as a civilian in early 2012 and began working at Brenneco Fire Protection in April 2012.

7 Army Values Every Day

We asked Ray what the Army taught him that he uses on a regular basis in his life and work. “You can apply the Army values to any situation,” says Ray, who expands on each of those values here.

Loyalty: When you wear a Brenneco shirt, that’s the blood that you bleed. Your clients rely on you to keep them protected. Being loyal to them to protect them is job one.

Duty: You get a task and you see it through to the end. No matter the hours, you accept the challenge and take care of the people/business that is relying on your expertise.

Respect: Treat everyone as you would want to be treated, from a coworker to a customer.

Selfless Service: Put the welfare of the customers, Brenneco and your coworkers before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your customers, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further and try a little harder so that you can add to the company goals.

Honor: You must be proud of what you do. Otherwise what’s the point? It is an honor to wear the Brenneco brand.

Integrity: You must choose the hard right over the easy wrong, even in the sprinkler business. You can’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and learn from them. Through they might sometimes be hard to swallow, decisions are made for a reason — not just to make someone happy.

Personal Courage: In life, stepping into a field or situation you’ve never been in before and do the best you can is a matter of personal courage.

More Lessons Learned

The Army taught Ray more than its core values. Ray says he also learned discipline. “You can look at a valve and not turn it. But you have to follow through. You can tell the customer that everything’s right instead of telling them the hard truth, but you have to be disciplined to choose the hard right,” he says.

“When it comes to leadership, the most important thing is when dealing with coworkers or others is that you lead from the front and put the good foot forward. Go about your business and do your work,” Ray says.

The Army also relies heavily on processes, which is consistent with the way Brenneco works.

“Everything you do in the Army has standard operating procedures. Any warrant officer in the Army can tell you they have to know the process and adjust it as needed. Reviewing and adjusting to make improvements is a consistent practice.”

For fire protection, service providers using simple checklists aren’t demonstrating consistent improvements. Digital reports capable of being easily emailed and comprehensive databases holding customers’ information are better signs of innovation. Even with the best processes in place, sometimes don’t go according to plan.

“The Army teaches you how to adapt and overcome no matter the situation,” Ray says. “For example, when you’re dealing with a vehicle that has blown up, you have to get it off the road and on a trailer or moving. As a leader, you are faced with family issues, financial questions — all kinds of questions from all asides. You at least have to know where to get the answer if you don’t have it.”

Responding to the unexpected in Afghanistan or Iraq puts things in perspective and helps Ray approach problems in a cool, calm, collected manner. “I once patched a hole in a power steering hose on a Humvee using a 7.62 mm bullet and some hose clamps,” he recalls. “At work, you can have valves that break and other things you didn’t expect. If something breaks, you have to know how to fix it.

“You never want to leave someone’s system out of service. You have to keep them protected,” Ray says.

How can Brenneco Fire Protection serve you? Contact me at 1-866-967-0017 to find out how.



  • (Army Commendation Medal) 3rd award
  • (Army Good Conduct Medal) 2nd award
  • (Afghanistan Campaign Medal) with 2 campaign stars
  • (Iraq Campaign Medal) with 1 campaign star
  • (Global War On Terrorism Service Medal)
  • (Overseas Service Ribbon)
  • (Parachutist Badge)
  • (5 Certificate of Achievements)
  • (Warrior Leadership Course Graduate) 2007 Honor Grad
  • (Associates of Arts) June 2013
  • (Bachelor of Science in business with concentration in Marketing) completion date of August 2014



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