November 8, 2016
Aiken, S.C. - Before the War on Terror, Richard Griffin served in the U.S. Army, charting a life devoted to country and compassion for others.
Richard served in the First Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. During deployment, they would parachute into places such as the Mojave Desert, where they would set up shelter for 30 days to run scenarios, which included training for night raids, reconnaissance, and ambushes.
“I served in the military during a relatively peaceful time,” Richard said. “But, terrorism was on the rise, and it was our job to figure out what tactics the enemy might use. What was training in those days is standard practice now.”
Richard embraced his time of service whole-heartedly.
“I wanted to join the military as soon as I walked off the stage from my high school graduation,” Richard said. “Even waiting six days felt like an eternity. My time of service in the military was truly some of my best years.”
Today, Richard works for Savannah River Remediation (SRR) in the Lean organization as a Process Improvement Facilitator at the Savannah River Site. Just as he enjoyed following Standard Operating Procedures in the military to make missions successful, he enjoys employing the Lean procedural methods known as 5S: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.
His military service prepared him well for his newest civilian tasks at SRR, which track well with his military mission. Richard’s devotion and compassion to help others is on full display every day.
“When we went on our military missions in the desert, our packs had to be organized in a specific configuration so that if you ended up with someone else's pack, you had everything you needed and knew where to find it,” Richard said. “Our wall lockers were also identical, right down to the five sets of civilian clothes we were allowed, so I guess that made me comfortable in a highly clean and organized environment, which is one of the key goals of implementing 5S in the Lean Mission Excellence Program at SRR.”
The Lean Mission Excellence Program measurably improves SRR’s effectiveness through its Lean principles, identifying and eliminating waste and overcoming challenges through innovative solutions.
Since his honorable discharge from the military in 1989, Richard has worked in private industry, earning two college degrees along the way: one in political science and one in electrical engineering.
Richard’s civilian career has taken him from Idaho to New Mexico, Colorado, and eventually landing him where he is today in South Carolina.
He enjoys a successful new career at SRR training employees on how to make their workdays more efficient.
“I enjoy my work at SRR and like to challenge myself to explore ways to improve the service we provide through the 5S training,” said Richard. “My goal is to make the training events better each time.”
A different mission from the military, but equally important to him, is his devotion to family. One of the reasons he and his wife moved to South Carolina is to be near his mother, who is from the area.
He and his wife are also avid dog lovers and will be bringing a Kuvasz puppy home for companionship to their 13-year-old Weimaraner. He also bought a small farm to fuel his wife’s passion to garden and raise farm animals.
“My wife wants to try her hand at growing vegetables first, and then we will introduce chickens and goats to our farm.”
SRR is the liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site for the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, Atkins, and URS Professional Solutions.