In honor of Veterans Day, four Getaround employees who are veterans of our military were kind enough to share their stories and describe how their experiences have influenced their careers at Getaround.

Tina Dao

Chief of Staff (San Francisco, HQ)

What branch of the military did you serve in?
United States Navy

When and where did you serve?
1989-1993; Norfolk, VA

What influenced your decision to serve?
I come from a working class family, had not been a good student so this was a way to be able to go to college and see the world. I choose the Navy because my father and his father had been sailors.

What were some of your duties while in service?
I was an Electronics Technician; one of my special assignments was to be on the nuclear disaster response team. When nuclear weapons were being moved we were assembled and at the ready; thankfully we never had to respond to a real event.

If you were awarded any medals, commendations, or decorations, how did you get them?
Just the standard service awards, nothing out of the ordinary.

What attracted you to a career at Getaround?
I have been a conscious capitalist for a while now, the mission speaks to me and I felt the values align with mine. Additionally, I saw/see the opportunity for me to have a positive impact.

Which elements of your military background do you apply to your current position at Getaround?
Much of my foundational understanding of leadership and how to cultivate superpower teams comes from those formative years in the U.S. Navy. It is hard to delineate specific elements because so much is part of my DNA now as a leader.

How did your experience training and serving in the military prepare you for your professional career?
I learn the most important thing is the team and mission, not personal ambitions. It is amazing what you can do when you don’t care who gets the credit.

What’s your favorite memory of your time in the service?
Thanksgiving; my favorite holiday to this day because of that time. People from all over the country and the world sharing stories of their family and family dishes. Through that celebration you got a window into their souls and communities they grew up in. Do you know how many variations of stuffing or dressing that exist?


J Whorley

Director, Integration Operations (Paris, France)

What branch of the military did you serve in?
The United States Navy

When and where did you serve?
From 2007 to 2014, I had three different primary duty stations. I was stationed aboard the USS BOXER (LHD-4), and USS KIDD (DDG-100) both homeported in San Diego, CA. I also served as an Operations Officer to Mine Countermeasures Squadron 3, deployed to Naval Forces Central Command, Combined Task Force (CTF-52), living in Manama, Bahrain.

What influenced your decision to serve?
I decided to join the military while in high school in the aftermath of 9/11, and a strong desire to serve my country. With the prospect of going to sea and deploying around the world, I was drawn to the Navy over other branches of the military. I attended the U.S. Naval Academy and after graduating was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer.

What were some of your duties while in service?
As a junior officer at sea, I held a number of different jobs over the course of a series of deployments. Most memorable was my first: Combat Electronics Officer, responsible for the performance and maintenance of our ship’s onboard radio, satellite, and radar electronics; and later my most demanding: Damage Control Assistant, responsible for firefighting, emergency repair, and safety divisions.

If you were awarded any medals, commendations, or decorations, how did you get them?
Three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, three Squadron Battle Efficiency Ribbons, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, and a Humanitarian Service Medal.

What attracted you to a career at Getaround?
Even if you think you know where you’re going, navigating from active military service into the private sector can be really tough. When I joined Getaround in 2014, I had already been an owner for a few years sharing my car while stationed overseas. I wanted to work in mobility, believed in Getaround’s mission, and was very fortunate to join the team as an operations manager.

Which elements of your military background do you apply to your current position at Getaround?
Being prepared for the unexpected is a big part of success while at sea; that comes from trust and training. I feel lucky to have lead teams of various sizes in a number of different capacities while working at Getaround. Working in operations ⁠— particularly in an environment of fast-paced growth and innovation ⁠— it’s important the remain flexible while also keeping an eye on the details. When you’re running fast, small details can build into big problems before you know it.

What’s your favorite memory of your time in the service?
Without a doubt, it’s the talented men and women I served with, the guidance and direction I received from mentors, and the lifelong friendships I was fortunate to build.


Matt Gore

Vice President & General Manager, Conveyance (San Francisco, HQ)

In what branch of the military did you serve and when/where did you serve?
I was a junior officer in the U.S. Navy from 2005-2010. I spent a couple years training in Florida, South Carolina, New York, and Connecticut, and then served aboard USS Helena, a fast-attack submarine, when she was homeported in San Diego and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

What influenced your decision to enlist and serve?
My sophomore year of college, I got a recruiting postcard in the mail from the Navy... and the rest is history! I don’t want to say I joined on a whim, but it was pretty far from anything I’d remotely considered or known growing up. Still, I found the idea intriguing even though I had literally no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew my grandfather had served in WWII, as had a couple other members of my family, and it just seemed like this huge, unknown adventure where I would grow and learn and experience so many things … I just didn’t exactly know what.

What were some of your duties while in service?
On a submarine, everyone has several jobs, so I spent time doing a bit of everything from overseeing maintenance and operations of the engine room and nuclear reactor to planning and executing strategic missions on deployment in the Western Pacific. I also oversaw portions of a year-long refit in the shipyard, and once got to conn the ship through the Panama Canal.

If you were awarded any medals, commendations, or decorations, how did you get them?
I have a Navy Expeditionary Medal for <redacted>, and a few others for showing up for work. 🙂

What attracted you to a career at Getaround?
It sounds cliche, but I get so much energy from working with a small group of smart and motivated people who have the audacity to believe they can create something that has never existed before, and that will change how tons of people move about the world.

Which elements of your military background do you apply to your current position at Getaround, and how did your experience training and serving in the military prepare you for your role at Getaround?
So many things… One huge thing it taught me was how to both lead and rely on a team comprised of people whose skills, expertise, and experience far exceed my own, and how to add value by clearing obstacles for the team to do what they’re great at. Another hugely relevant skill I learned is how to pull the string on seemingly innocuous or tolerable problems and challenges to reveal the real root causes and issues that when ultimately addressed, lead to that next breakthrough in efficiency or success.

What’s your favorite memory of your time in the service?
Being deployed at sea, especially on a submarine, is a high-intensity experience that last for months at a time without ever really having a day off. But every once in a while, there’s a moment of calm where maybe you come to the surface during sunset a hundred miles from anywhere, and then some dolphins would start doing flips off the bow, or perhaps you’d get a glimpse of the darkest night sky you’ve ever seen. Those moments are unforgettable.


Steve Tourek

Workforce Management Analyst (Phoenix, AZ)

What branch of the military did you serve in?
United States Army

When and where did you serve?
1976-1992. 1976-1980 was my four years at the United States Military Academy (USMA; West Point), from which I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, followed by 12 years of active duty service as a Military Police officer and Operations Research/Systems Analyst (ORSA). I did two tours and a total of three years in the Republic of Korea (Pusan, 1980-1981; Taegu, 1985-1987). I spent the time in between my two Korea tours in California, at Ft. Ord (Monterey) and Ft. Hunter Liggett. My last five years were spent at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois at the HQ of the US Army Recruiting Command (USAREC).

What influenced your decision to enlist and serve?
First off, not everyone who serves “enlists”; I did not enlist. I was a commissioned officer after completing my B.S. degree at USMA. I chose to go to West Point initially because they reached out to me. I had always had a desire to serve in some way, but was also always on the track to college. West Point allowed me to do both.

What were some of your duties while in service?
I served as a Platoon Leader first in Korea and then again at Ft. Ord. I commanded the 7th Infantry Division Correctional Custody Facility (a basic training-like retraining unit for minor offenders), and then was Detachment Commander/Sub-Area Provost Marshal for the MP detachment at Ft. Hunter Liggett. I commanded the 188th MP Company in Korea, and then served as the Assistant Operations Officer for the 728th MP Battalion. I finished my career at USAREC, serving as an Operations Research Analyst.

If you were awarded any medals, commendations, or decorations, how did you get them?
I received a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) and several Army Commendation Medals for excellent performance. I never served in combat and thus was not in position to earn campaign/valor type medals.

What attracted you to a career at Getaround?
After working for established companies of all sizes (from Fortune 15 to very small), the idea of working for a startup ⁠— with all the change, youth and energy that goes with that ⁠— was very appealing. I liked the idea of being able to really influence the direction that a newer company goes.

Which elements of your military background do you apply to your current position at Getaround?
The background with leadership and discipline that goes hand-in-hand with the military is of course invaluable, but the “business analyst” role that I performed in my final assignment at USAREC is really what set me in the direction of Call Center Workforce Management, which has been my field for the last 16 years.

How did your experience training and serving in the military prepare you for your professional career?
I came to the conclusion after being in the civilian workforce for a few years (and that was now more than 20 years ago!) that people who have not served dramatically overestimate the differences between military work and civilian work. I have often said that the single biggest difference is that in the Army you can look at a co-worker, see what rank is on their collar or sleeve, ask them how many years they’ve been in, and then you can look at a chart on a 4x6 card or in the Army Times, read down and across, and you know to the penny how much money that person makes every month. You can’t do that in the civilian business world.

What’s your favorite memory of your time in the service?
My favorite memory of my service is of my accompanied tour with my then-wife and daughter in Korea. My daughter was 5 ½ - 7 ½ during that tour, and the opportunity to share a different culture and all the experiences that we had while in Korea was priceless.