Empower AI’s George Degnon knows a thing or two about mission success. As a former F-16 pilot and two-star general in the U.S. Air Force, he also understands that achieving any military mission requires the full support of the team, which starts with family.
“My first combat deployment was in 1990 and I wasn’t married, but I had a girlfriend who later became my wife,” Degnon said. “In early 2003 when I deployed to combat again, we had three kids, and she was pregnant with our fourth. Luckily, I got back two weeks before our baby boy was born.”
He took a moment to reflect and said, “The last time I deployed to Iraq, we had four kids, so I had a different perspective. There was a lot to lose. Every time I would deploy, I had to be so focused on the mission. Of course, I thought about my family, but my focus could not be on them. My wife took care of everything whenever I was gone, and military spouses and families often don’t get the recognition they deserve. My wife raised four amazing kids and kept the household going and somehow stayed sane. All of that support allows the servicemember to focus on the mission and hopefully come home safely.”
He paused again and said, “Wonderful woman. How lucky am I?”
Today, Degnon is retired from the Air Force, but still supports the nation’s armed forces and his own drive of serving the country with his work at Empower AI.
As vice president of Business Development, he’s focused on helping the military use artificial intelligence technology to enable faster, more informed decision making, especially in situations where every second counts.
“I have a lot of memories from my career, and a lot of highlights,” he said. “When I was young, I wanted to win individual awards. Later, I wanted to train my people to be great, and that was the goal. After that, it was to be more efficient in combat, keep my people safe, and take care of entire organizations by making sure the warfighter had what they needed.”
“The same is true now for our work at Empower AI,” he continued. “The technology we have could be very useful and for our current servicemembers. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Degnon added he’s also proud to be part of a company like Empower AI that puts value on a culture of serving the nation and provides support to employees who are Veterans or a part of a military family.
“To me, celebrating Military Families Appreciation Month is important, because it recognizes and honors the unique sacrifices and challenges that military families have as they support their loved ones in uniform,” he said. “It’s a common thread so many families share, and it’s important to recognize the sacrifice that millions of Americans make so that our country is safe, and our freedoms are intact.”
Major General, U.S. Air Force, Retired (1983-2020),
VP, Business Development, Empower AI