Nov 09, 2018
J.P. Morgan’s Jourdan Frain pays homage on Veterans Day to his commanding officer, who gave him life skills that kept him alive in Iraq, and a career at J.P. Morgan.
This Veterans Day will be my sixteenth as a Veteran. I joined the Army directly out of high school, partly to propel a future career, but largely out of a sense of duty. The events of 9/11 were part of my coming-of-age narrative, occurring one day after my eighteenth birthday.
I spent most of my time moving between Baghdad and Fallujah, Iraq, and it was here that I met SFC Shanaberger. One of the major turning points in my life happened in 2004, when we were part of a three-man reconnaissance team, on an escort mission in Balad, Iraq. We were ambushed and all of us were wounded – Shanaberger fatally. We actually finished our mission and safeguarded the forces behind us. And although I was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart, what I value most from the experience was Shanaberger’s leadership.
A Demand to Always be Your Best
He was always a fanatic about the constant need to get better. This wasn’t a goal in his eyes but a requirement; not only as a means for self-improvement, but also to make your surroundings and peers better in the process. When he was fatally wounded, it was his demand to always be your best that kept us going. It was a tenet he lived by, and ultimately died for, and he cemented it in me.
I considered many different career paths when I moved out of active service, but discovered a passion for finance, and ultimately a positon at J.P. Morgan, where I truly feel my principles of self-improvement and being dedicated to a team are embraced. I’ve always wanted to do something exciting and impactful, and the firm and its people are always trying to be better both in business and in the community.
I was hired by J.P. Morgan’s electronic equity execution desk, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. The firm’s, and my team’s, commitment to Veterans is obvious, whether it is in the jobs initiative or bringing in and supporting Veteran interns regularly. These actions not only make me feel like I belong, but also make me proud to be part of the firm.
Veterans Day is a time to honor all those who served. For me, Veterans Day is a time to reflect on how I can continue to honor what Veterans, like SFC Shanaberger, have done.