Podcast Episode 12: Army Veteran and DHG Superstar

After six years in the military, Chip Wilmer returned to civilian life and pursued his Master's in Accounting. Today, DHG is honored to have this Army Veteran on our Charlotte, N.C. audit team. Join us as Chip tells his story and we celebrate Military Appreciation Month.

Chip Wilmer and family


AGH: Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I really love this venue because we get to hear from our people about the things that matter the most to them; flexibility, careers and people. This month, we are celebrating Military Appreciation Month and highlighting some of our employees who have served in the military and those whose spouse or children have served in the military. And, I am super excited to have with me today, Chip Wilmer, who is a Senior Associate in Audit in our Charlotte, North Carolina office. Welcome Chip.

CW: Thanks for having me, Alice Grey.

AGH: Absolutely. So can you tell me what drew you to serve in the Army?

CW: Well, Alice Grey, my family has a history of service in the Army, both of my grandfathers served in the military and my dad was actually in the Navy. So I had a strong appreciation of military service and it’s something I always had a great deal of respect for and I really did look into how I could serve until senior year in high school, and that’s when September 11th occurred, and that’s what really spurred me to serve in the military. The first step in doing that was getting involved in Army ROTC in college and then after I graduated from college, I went into the Army immediately following.

AGH: And you served six years, is that right?

CW: That’s correct.

AGH: Okay and so what exactly was your role in the Army?

CW: Well, I was a field artillery officer, and similar to in public accounting and taxes, there are two different roles that you can really fill as a field artillery officer, and one of those roles is working with the artillery unit and another one of those roles is serving as more of an adviser to a maneuver unit, such as infantry and armory unit, and working with them to help integrate your artillery or aircraft or a wide variety of other platforms into their operations. That’s more of my experience, the Army was geared to that.

AGH: Wow, that’s really quite different than accounting, right?

CW: Just a little.

AGH: So what was the most challenging part of your service?

CW: Hands down, the most challenging part was the deployments, time away from the family. I did two overseas deployments and that adds up to well over two years, and you’re in dangerous situations for yourself and for the people that you’re serving with and are responsible for, and so those situations can provide a lot of great and rewarding experiences, but they are certainly very challenging and hard on family back home for sure.

AGH: Absolutely. I can’t even imagine how hard it was for your family. So you mentioned rewarding aspects, what are some of the rewarding aspects of your time in service?

CW: It’s really hard to pin down because so much of my service was extremely rewarding, but I think what popped up over and over again is just being able to, you know, it’s a great privilege to lead soldiers and be placed in the position of leadership over them and that gives you a lot of great opportunities to develop people and to help them achieve their goals. So I think whether that be working with soldiers or being an adviser to an Afghan Army unit, being able to work with people, to help them develop and see them achieve their goals was by far the most rewarding part of my Army career.

AGH: Yeah. I can imagine that would be, and so what would you say, building on that, what would you say is something that you learned while you were serving in the Army that you continue to use today in your current position with us?

CW: Yeah, I think that translates really well to my career today with DHG, and we place such a high value on people, and I think because I learned in the Army is that your people are your strongest asset, and so with a firm like ours, where we value people so much and we just build valuable careers for our people, I think that translates really well in seeing people invest in my career and also having the opportunity to invest in other people’s careers and other staff and work with our clients as well. So I think that’s been, from that perspective, DHG has been a great fit for me coming out of the Army and transitioning back into a civilian job.

AGH: Yeah, so I can’t even imagine that transition. For our listeners, when Chip came back after serving in the military, he then went on to get his Master’s in Accounting. So I can’t even imagine what it was like to come back from serving overseas and then all of a sudden be thrust back into school in a university setting. That must have been quite a transition.

CW: It was quite a transition. I had to put my academic hat back on and also had to get used to being around college students. Quite a change from being in the Army to being in the university but it was a good experience.

AGH: Okay, I am going off script here from some of the questions.

CW: Sure.

AGH: So do you still, like some of the things when I think of the Army, I think of how you have to wake up early and you have to make your bed with the, what do they call them? Army corners or whatever? Do you still have to do that?

CW: No, no, no. So thankfully, I still get up early, but my wife will attest that I am not very good at even making my bed.

AGH: Well, yeah. For our listeners, he definitely gets up early. I am in New Orleans in Central Time and he is in North Carolina on Eastern Time. So over the past two weeks, Chip and I have had equally a 7 AM call with each other, but it’s been fun getting to know you Chip, and we are so incredibly grateful for your service to our country and of course for your service here with DHG.

CW: Alice Grey, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to serve and just thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a great firm here at DHG.

AGH: That’s great. Thanks Chip, and thank you to all of our listeners at Life at DHG, our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope that you’ll tell your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out our DHG blog for more great stories that we are sharing about our people during Military Appreciation Month. Tune in next time for another edition of Life at DHG.  

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