Caleb Nicholas

We Are SCI

As Caleb Nicholas talks about his work at SCI, one fact becomes abundantly clear well before he puts it into words.

“I couldn’t handle a boring job,” says Caleb, a veteran of five deployments with the United States Air Force. “I can’t be idle. It doesn’t work well for me.”

No danger of that in SCI’s Depot & Test Services, where Caleb’s position as MRO Manager is anything but boring. Each day, components from an array of military and commercial vehicles move in and out of his area. As a result, the environment is always fluid – and, like he says, you never know what will turn up.

“No matter what I’ve ever done, I need a challenge to stay involved,” Caleb says. “And this is a challenge, it really is, because it’s always changing. But I love it. I really love it.”

Veterans Helping Veterans

Of course, Caleb’s day job isn’t the only challenge he’s currently taking on.

As an active member of the North Alabama chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Caleb helps raise money for local charities that support fellow veterans. He linked up with CVMA shortly after his medical discharge from the Air Force, and was instrumental in connecting the group with SCI.

“There’s such a deep-rooted military connection with SCI and with veterans in the area,” says Caleb. “A lot of our guys in our organization (CVMA) are all rotary-wing guys – they’re Chinook guys, Blackhawk guys – so they’re really familiar with what we do here (at SCI) as well.

“So it was an easy partnership. It just made sense.”

“There’s such a deep-rooted military connection with SCI and with veterans in the area."

Projects & Life Lessons

Away from work, Caleb can usually be found working on projects around the house. Oftentimes, that includes passing on lessons to Vinny, his 11-year-old son.

Vinny recently reached the state level in science fair, earning an honorable mention. Among other home projects, Caleb has taught Vinny to solder and also had his son work on some plumbing.

And really, that’s just the start.

“If I’m out welding in garage, or fixing my motorcycle, he’s going to be right there with me,” Caleb says.

Making The Connection

Caleb started at SCI as a nighttime technician in 2014 before quickly moving into supervision. Today he manages technicians and associated staff who work on incoming parts and repairs.

That job description isn’t too different from his duties in the Air Force. In a nearly 13-year career, Caleb served as an aircraft maintainer and technician, primarily with F-15s and F-16s. He also worked with AFREP, an aircraft repair and enhancement program.

“Personally, I think I’ve got the absolute best group in the entire building,” he says. “It’s the only group of people I’ve ever been able to supervise or manage where we don’t have one single interpersonal conflict.”

Since starting at SCI, Caleb says he’s noticed a positive change in how his coworkers make the connection between their work and the success of America’s Armed Forces. One important factor, he says, is being able to see SCI’s products in action.

Like when a Chinook helicopter equipped with an SCI-built Data Concentrator landed on the front lawn last June.

“When people can put their hands on that product and see it being used in a military vehicle – yeah, that makes all the difference,” he says. “And with the amount of veterans that we employ here, it’s really easy for people to make that connection. They know it’s a personal connection for them, and I think that plays off on everyone else as well.”