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5 Ways A Civilian Mentor Can Propel Your Military Transition
Trending now is an American public that yearns to give back to the men and women that have served this country. Civilian professionals by the dozens are volunteering their time to mentor veterans during their transition from the military.
Having a civilian mentor during a military transition can be a significant game changer. There are many benefits that directly result both from a mentor and mentee perspective. Even if you already have a job lined up, a civilian mentor relationship can do wonders for your professional career. Here are five ways having a civilian mentor transformed my transition and provided a new perspective on my professional career.
1. They offer a different perspective on the job market.
First, a mentor relationship provides a springboard for invaluable feedback. Any ideas regarding your career search including application procedures, resumes, and interviews could be vetted by your mentor. One of the struggles that I had during my transition was figuring out what type of position and industry I wanted to pursue. Sure, anyone can speculate what type of position could be a good fit, but without that experience it’s so difficult to say for certain. Through discussions with my mentor we were able to conclude what types of positions would be best for me based on strengths and leadership style. Having that invaluable feedback coupled with experience really made an impact on my transition.
2. They can give you feedback on your resume.
Resume critique can be extremely helpful especially for a military transition. Often veterans have difficulty translating their military accomplishments to corporate, bottom line metrics. Having that civilian mentor can help you gain a much better understanding of what a hiring manager is seeking. My mentor happened to have a colleague that was excellent in resume crafting. I’ll never forget his email: “Send me his resume and any evaluation reports and I’ll make him look like a rock star. “ It was one fantastic resume. There’s a really strong chance I will never use another format other than the one he provided. Obviously, results will vary wildly on the amount of feedback or resume help you should expect to receive in a mentor relationship. But, this illustrates that you never know someone’s strengths or who they may be connected to and their strengths.
3. You can learn from their experiences and mistakes.
The number one reason for the mentor to mentee relationship is that gap of experience. A mentor has gone through years of job or industry experience, which is impossible to put a price tag on. If we stop, listen, and show interest, we can learn so much just from the voice of experience. In my situation, my mentor was prior military and made the transition himself. It was interesting to learn what he took away from the experience and his own transition. I always took notes on our discussions and directly applied those experiences to my own unique situation. What good is learning the experience without finding a way to directly apply it?
4. They can help you with your interview skills.
A mentor can provide interview coaching. Interviewing practice is important, but feedback is twice as important. During a conversation, ask your mentor to conduct a practice interview in order to feedback based on their experiences. It’s a great way to get multiple avenues of feedback with interviewing and a mentor can do just that.
In my own experience, having a civilian mentor really was beneficial during the closing of my job. I received an offer from a company and was all set to counter offer. I had created logical reasoning behind why I deserved a higher salary. After pitching it to my mentor, we both reached the conclusion that it was not the best approach. We spent the next 30 minutes discussing what constituted a good counter offer. Had I not had someone to ask those questions my transition could have gone much differently.
5. They provide new opportunities for networking.
Last, having a civilian mentor is a connection; a connection that you didn’t have beforehand. In a world where “it’s not what you know, but who you know,” having a great relationship with an experienced professional is powerful. There’s no telling how the two of you could potentially give value to one another in the future.
There are so many fantastic upsides to a mentor relationship both professionally and personally. Transitioning veterans are bombarded today with a barrage of resources to facilitate a successful transition. It’s up to the veterans to sift and filter through which resources are best for their own unique situation. However, I just filtered one out for you. Get a civilian mentor. If you don’t know where to start, American Corporate Partners is one resource that connects you with a civilian mentor based on your unique preferences. Step outside of your comfort zone, create a real connection, and make a successful transition out of the military.
An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.
The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.
"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."
Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.
"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."