In a small town in Northern Indiana, high school junior Bret Beehler felt something inside him shift as he watched one of the world’s darkest days unfold the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

“This isn’t okay,” Bret recalled thinking. “This isn’t the way the world should operate.”

Twenty-two years later, Bret is the Contractor Program Manager — North America and the Global Lead for Mosaic’s Veterans Employee Inclusion Network (EIN). He isn’t from a military family. He had never thought of enlisting. But that day, he felt a sense of purpose he, along with so many others, would eventually answer — a call to serve.

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day is recognized in the United States and Remembrance Day is recognized in Canada. Though the names differ, the day serves a shared purpose in both countries: to reflect and honor the service of veterans like Bret.

Mosaic EINs are designed to make our workplaces more inclusive by creating spaces for conversations and understanding. The Veterans EIN that Bret leads engages with veterans in Brazil, Canada and the United States, along with their spouses, families and allies, to discuss workplace objectives and opportunities. Recent Veterans EIN events have included connecting veterans with mentors, as well as LinkedIn and resume review workshops.

Bret is grateful for Mosaic’s championing of veterans, both through the EIN and in daily practice. Through American Corporate Partners, a nonprofit aimed at helping veterans reenter the civilian workforce, Bret landed a mock interview at Mosaic with Charlotte Brittain, Director —Transformation and Supply Chain. The next thing he knew, he was moving to Florida to start his new career.

Returning to Civilian Life

But before he found himself at Mosaic, rejoining the workforce was a challenge. Bret had spent the last 11 years as a United States Marine, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was responsible for carrying out the orders of commanding officers and battalion leadership, including ensuring his unit was mission-ready and deployable. He planned to serve for 20 years before retiring, until a family hardship led to an honorable discharge.

“I was hiring for a very unique role, a Continuous Improvement Lead,” Charlotte said. “I had been talking with candidates for several months when a colleague mentioned someone who had reached out to him. When I talked to Bret, I knew I had likely found the right person. His obvious passion and leadership skills were immediately noticed. He has a capacity to lead and learn in all he does, which is evident in every position he’s held at Mosaic.”

Bret is also grateful for Karen Swager, Executive Vice President – Operations, who is the Executive Champion for the Veterans EIN.  

“I couldn’t ask for someone to be more visible or vocal,” Bret said. “She’s been extremely engaged and passionate. We have regular check-ins where she gives me feedback and asks how she can help overcome any barriers.”

Veterans Helping Veterans

Bret Beehler is a United States Marine veteran and the Global Lead for the Veterans EIN at Mosaic.

As a veteran who has navigated the return to civilian life and the civilian workforce, Bret uses his insight and experiences to shed light on these challenges in the EIN.

“I’m passionate about anything that has to do with continuing to create an environment that allows veterans, active service members, spouses, families and allies to advance,” he said.

His next goal as the Global Lead is to continue strengthening relationships with the talent and human resources teams to further analyze how Mosaic attracts and retains military talent, in addition to supporting current Mosaic veteran employees and their families.

“We have veterans from every branch and background, which also comes with challenges because they have different things they face as individuals with their branches,” Bret said. “What we want to do is streamline and simplify access to resources and create a veteran community within Mosaic, so they know they have what they need not only through us, but through our greater operating area.”

He also wants to further educate Mosaic employees about veterans and their experiences.

“We want to help break down barriers and bridge the gap,” he said. “Being a veteran isn’t something you hang up in the closet with your old uniform. It’s built into your DNA. As veterans, we have a responsibility to help people understand what we bring to the table.”