Soldier to Solidarity: Meet D10 Vets of Steel's Maurice Cobb

This story is part of a larger series introducing you to our Vets of Steel coordinators. Check out our news section for more.

Army Specialist Maurice Cobb's story isn't just about a change in uniform; it's about how the solidarity he knew in the service found a new home in the Steelworkers Union.

After eight years as a Military Police Officer, Maurice traded his military boots for the steel-toed kind. He found the sense of unity and togetherness he knew from his service didn't end when he handed in his uniform. Joining the USW was like walking into a familiar space. 

The union hall may have looked different from the barracks, but the strong shoulders, the solidarity, and the ready hands were all the same.

The military taught him to stand up and protect his team. At the USW, he stands up for his fellow workers' rights as the District 10 Rapid Response Coordinator. His job titles have changed, but whether coordinating a Rapid Response Action Call or guiding veterans through the Vets of Steel program, Maurice is still that dependable MP, watching over his people. 

At USW Local 1688, he worked as a crane operator in the rolling mill at what was then ISG Steel. He quickly discovered that people looked out for each other just like his old Army buddies did. For Maurice, being a part of USW meant being part of a family. It was less about the individual and more about what they could accomplish together.

He understands what it's like to return from service and try to find your footing. That's why he's so passionate about his District 10 Vets of Steel Coordinator role and thankful to his District Director, Bernie Hall, for entrusting him with it. Maurice is there to help those who've served find their way in the civilian world and the workforce. It's about giving back and making sure no one is left behind or forgotten. 

The USW’s Veteran of Steel program helps connect our member veterans, retirees, and their families with resources in and out of the union. Coordinators like Maurice help build committees at the local level, provide a veterans voice on issues at the bargaining table and in legislatures, and lead volunteerism efforts for veterans in the communities where we live and work. The program is now required at every local thanks to a change passed at our last Constitutional Convention.

Maurice's shift from the military to the union is a powerful reminder that the values of service and solidarity don't have to end when you take off a uniform. They're universal values that carry on from one chapter of life to the next. In Maurice's case, the camaraderie of the military has found a new expression in the unity of the union, proving that some bonds are strong, no matter where life takes you. 

“As veterans we often don’t speak or reminisce of our time in service. Coming together because of this program has afforded us the opportunity to share stories and resources amongst ourselves. And it’s proved some good laughs and release time while we share these things,” he said.

Click here to learn more about the Veterans of Steel program, or to connect with your district coordinator.

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