Editor’s Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Airgas committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Airgas is a client of Hirepurpose. Learn More.

Kevin Traynor’s time in the Army made an impact. As a young man, he held important jobs and helped make a difference on a daily basis. Traynor never imagined those jobs would fuel his career growth in the civilian world. But thanks to some ingenuity on his part, Traynor managed to turn his MOS into a successful career with Airgas.

Traynor joined the Army at only 19 years of age; he was young and wide-eyed. “I spent a year in college but didn’t love it,” he shared. “I wanted to be challenged in a different way.” The Army gave him exactly the kind of challenge he had been seeking. After graduating boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Traynor dove headfirst into his new MOS – Atomic Demolition Munitions Specialist. Working with nuclear weapons provided Traynor the kind of challenge he had been seeking. The work intrigued him and gave him exposure to ideas most 19-year-olds never experience.

After a few years, Traynor transitioned to a new MOS, working with petroleum supply on the transportation side of the Army. The job was a vital part of the Army’s supply chain and Traynor was happy to fulfill it. “We delivered all types of fuel and were in charge of refueling a variety of vehicles,” he said. “My favorite was the hot refueling of helicopters and tanks.” Hot refueling, which is on-the-ground refueling of vehicles that are still running, required Traynor and his teammates to transport mobile fuel tanks to various locations and quickly refuel vehicles in a variety of environments, often under simulated war conditions. “It was like a NASCAR race,” Traynor said. “It was fast and intense and loved it.”

Despite loving his Army years, eventually, Traynor knew it was time to explore what the civilian world had to offer. When he began his transition out of the military, he found it difficult and full of unknowns. “I entered the Army at a young age,” he shared. “I’d never had a real job and had no relevant knowledge of the outside world.” Traynor wanted to find a job using his nuclear weapons experience but his job search kept running into dead ends. Traynor went on to finish college and began searching for a job in the communications field, but never quite found the job he was seeking. Traynor expanded his job search to include his military experience. There seemed to be no relevant jobs. He decided to shift gears and focus on his other MOS; Traynor started searching for jobs in transportation.

Before long, Traynor was driving a truck as an independent contractor. That led to a job brokering truckloads for a third-party company, which in turn led to recruiting for the trucking industry. Through hard work and flexibility, Traynor had taken his transportation experience from the Army and shaped it into a steady and profitable career on the civilian side. “There was a lot I had to figure out on my own,” Traynor shared. “I just kept going until I figured it out.”

Wanting to stay relevant in his field, Traynor created a LinkedIn profile. “I believe that people must put themselves out there,” he shared. “I listed my military experiences, as well as my work on the civilian side, and it got me noticed.” When he was contacted by Airgas, Traynor was excited about the opportunity.

“Airgas was looking for something specific,” Traynor explained. “The company was searching for someone with a diverse transportation background.” Traynor’s transportation experience in the Army, coupled with his civilian experience owning trucks and recruiting for the trucking industry, made him an ideal candidate for Airgas. The company saw value in Traynor’s unique experiences and they knew he could learn the rest of the job as he went. Several interviews later, Traynor accepted a job as Driver Talent Acquisition Manager for Airgas.

Airgas, an Air Liquide Company, is a nationwide supplier of industrial, medical, and specialty gases. The company supplies gases, welding equipment, and safety products to a wide array of industries. With over one million customers across the U.S., Airgas’ transportation network is vast. In his role, Traynor’s team is responsible for filling and managing over 1,500 driver positions within that network. It’s a big job and one that requires the support of a team. “My time in the Army taught me a lot about teamwork,” Traynor shared. “I’ve used that knowledge to become a better manager and leader.”

Traynor and his team identify candidates from around the country and lead them to Airgas. “The best part of my job is helping people,” Traynor explained. “I get to help drivers find a job that works for them with a great company.” Even within the transportation sector, Airgas is a diverse employer seeking diverse candidates. Drivers may haul a wide variety of specialty gases, dry ice, welding equipment or safety products; all are integral to the success of Airgas. “It’s easy to feel good about your job at Airgas,” Traynor shared.

Traynor noted that Airgas is an ideal employer for veterans for many reasons. “The teamwork, camaraderie, and routine are very similar to the military,” he explained. “Airgas is a large company with a job for every type of MOS.” Airgas is working to establish a robust support network for veteran employees, helping connect vets with others who share their experiences. “This is just one example of how much Airgas cares for its employees,” Traynor said.

As a young man learning a new MOS in the Army, Traynor never imagined that his job would one day drive him forward in his career in the civilian world. However, that is exactly what has happened. By combining his specific military experience with his drive and work ethic, Traynor has fueled a thriving career with Airgas. He knows others can follow in his footsteps and find career success of their own.