Hayes brings military experience to BRC

Carman Apprentice Wade Hayes completed his seven-year U.S. Army career in November 2023.

Attaining the rank of sergeant, the Griffith, Indiana, native was a team leader. He believes communicating well and being engaged and disciplined are important skills he developed while serving the country.

“It put me on a good path and helped me mature,” Hayes said.

He and his wife, Raelyn, recently welcomed their first child, Anthony. Hayes said parenthood is challenging but rewarding. He added that providing for and coming home safely to his family direct his daily mission.

“I don’t want to get hurt and do anything that would burden my family,” he said.

Hayes says he’s worked with multiple journeymen who’ve emphasized safety as he learns to inspect rail cars and perform air tests.

“You have to know what you’re looking at and identify the parts and their condition,” Hayes said.

He said individuals such as Carman Frank Myers have been great mentors, taking extra time when needed to explain a concept or demonstrate a technique.

“It’s a good work environment,” Hayes said, noting he’s already certain that he wants to remain at the Belt for the rest of his career.

While stationed at Fort Richardson in Alaska, he developed a love of hiking and fondly recalls ascending Flattop Mountain near Anchorage.