I Didn’t Know the Military Could Do That Job!

Former military personnel were working in New York City during the terrorist attack rescue effort and courageously evacuated thousands of citizens from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The tragedy that is still so fresh in our minds was one where many lost their lives performing acts of bravery to help the innocent. One former Marine named John Chipura who was part of this effort served in Beirut in the early 1980s, but left in 1987 to become a police officer, and then a firefighter for NYC. He was one of many heroes who gave his life for the sake of others. After his death on September 11, his fellow firefighters made a plaque with this inscription: “Boy Scout, USMC, NYPD, NYFD: Our Hero.” John is just one of many who have left the military to serve our country in different capacities. These are the everyday heroes who are now part of the civilian world. The question is, would you like to hire a hero? While you may be thinking, “I don’t hire police officers or firefighters!” ó let me categorically say that people who are willing to selflessly give to others make great employees. They may not need to sacrifice their lives, but perhaps the loyalty and devotion of their efforts are just as important on a different level. Along with being highly skilled personnel, military men and women live with a daily work ethic that shines. It is a result of their training and experience in the difficult and dangerous military world. Our soldiers do many things in the military, but most people are surprised to learn how valuable they are to many industries in the civilian world. Some HR people who have recently begun hiring from the military (within the last three or four years) say they never even thought of looking in that direction for their hiring needs. They usually express to me that they thought only sharpshooters, tank drivers, or at most, electronic, electrical, or mechanical-type people could be sought from the military. Now they realize that former military personnel provide great work ethics and do all kinds of work. The following is a limited list of what many are doing today. Former military personnel are:

  • production supervisors
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  • pharmaceutical sales
  • project and process mechanical and electrical engineers
  • financial analysts
  • bus/truck drivers
  • field technicians
  • airplane mechanics
  • pilots
  • stock brokers
  • government agencies workers
  • lawyers
  • translators-interpreters
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • shipping/receiving clerks and supervisors
  • accounting personnel
  • mechanics
  • firefighters
  • police officers
  • business leaders
  • production/assembly workers
  • oil workers
  • restaurant managers
  • cooks and waiters
  • retail managers
  • project managers
  • security specialists
  • admin personnel
  • computer specialists

This is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, it is only the beginning. You probably noticed that many of these jobs are not ones in which the military gives direct training. Yet military people not only are recruited for these positions, they excel at them! This can only be answered one way: trainability. The military is a trainable group, so if they have not received the training, the vast majority of them have the attitude, desire, and talent to make it work ó regardless of their prior military duties. I would encourage you to give prior military personnel a shot. Give them a chance to prove themselves. We have seen they can do it in tragic events of war and terror, now give them a chance to prove their worth in our community. It is the right thing to do.

Bill Gaul (bgaul@destinygrp.com) is President and CEO of The Destiny Group, an Internet-based recruiting tool that utilizes the latest patent-pending technology (including audio/visual) for organizations to use to source men and women departing the military services. Endorsed by all of the U.S. Service Academy Alumni Associations, and three times selected as one of the "50 BEST" by CareerXRoads, this online system is the easiest and lowest cost method to reach transitioning military worldwide, without a per-head fee.

Bill's articles are Copyright 2001, The Destiny Group.

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