From Marine to Manager

Celebrating You

As a young veteran, Aaron has found a new calling and great opportunity at Walmart. 

Aaron standing in front of a Walmart super center store front

When Aaron Parrott first started working for Walmart as a cashier while still in high school, he felt like he wasn’t doing enough.

“I asked my front-end assistant manager at the time to make the change to coach, and I asked her if there was anything else that I could do,” he says.

“The front-end team made it where I felt like I could grow and wanted to grow. They showed me things that I felt like I needed to continue to lead through, and they led by example with their leadership style.”

Eight years later, Aaron tries to bring that same style of leadership to work as store manager at Store 150 in Woodward, Oklahoma. In addition to growing his career at Walmart in those eight years, he also pursued another career — as a Marine.

Aaron’s family has a history of military service, with his mom having served in the Navy, his dad in the Marines and an aunt and uncle in the Air Force. So, after he graduated high school, Aaron took a military leave of absence from Walmart so he could join the Marines but keep his position at Walmart open.

He spent six years serving as a motor vehicle operator in Wichita, Kansas, even earning Marine of the Year in his last year of service, 2021. Aaron says the Marines helped him build his leadership ability, teaching him to really care for the people he manages.

“It’s not about being a harsh leader. You have to truly care about who your people are,” he explains. “Bringing that into Walmart and building that into Walmart’s culture, it’s an amazing thing to have that teamwork and that family just like in the military.”

Aaron and a female associate in the clothing are of a Walmart store

Back at Walmart, Aaron applied the skills he’d learned in the Marines to grow his career. But what he’s learned from mentors at Walmart — from his first front-end assistant manager and on — have also been critical.

“I've had several mentors within Walmart, and I've got some who now are retired from Walmart that I keep in contact with. They still, even to this day, mentor me,” Aaron says, who now has a mentee circle of his own. Mentors share stories and experiences from their careers, giving him a well of knowledge to draw from. “I truly believe that mentorship is one of the keys to success.”

His last manager, for instance, wanted him to make time to speak with associates when he first came into the store.

“My first week in my store, I tried to spend as much time going around and doing meet-and-greets with my associates,” Aaron shares. “That way, I know who they are. I get to know their stories and they also get to know my story, where I've come from, and build that connection.”

Aaron says there’s lots of room to grow at Walmart and he’s looking forward to more personal and professional growth. That will include pursuing a college degree through Live Better U.

“I’ve grown my career far more than I ever imagined I would be able to,” he says. “There's so many different opportunities within Walmart that I haven't really decided 100% my path.”

No matter where Aaron’s path takes him, we’re sure it’ll be a bright one!

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