The New Year makes it three-and-a-half years since I retired from the Marine Corps. I've had a few challenges, but I was still better off than a lot of folks. I had a couple of degrees to my name and a transferable skill from the military. But as in anything, somebody always has it easier than you and somebody always has it tougher.
Some people seem to live charmed lives and are Instagram-worthy at all times. It's alright to hate those people, by the way. Others stumble so badly as civilians you wonder how they managed to successfully navigate the frozen food section at the commissary without starving to death.
I don't claim to have any special insight other than a combination of stumbling and success, which might be the right combination of experiences to give others some tips.
Some people learn to love the jobs they have; some spend years searching for the perfect one. For some, it all comes together without even trying. For Travis Johnson, a Master Sergeant in the Louisiana National Guard, it was the latter. His civilian job and his National Guard job both bring him incredible joy and fulfillment.
Military helicopter pilot Dominic Cipolla walks under the wing of an instruction plane at Coast Flight Training in San Diego, California, U.S., January 15, 2019. Picture taken January 15, 2019. (Reuters/Mike Blake)
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Army pilot Shaun Perez spent ten hours flying an Apache helicopter over Afghanistan, providing gun cover for Special Forces soldiers on the ground as they hunted for high-value targets, guns and weapons.
Returning to his base at dawn, he donned a fresh uniform before shutting himself into a small room to secure the next stage of his career — as a commercial airline pilot.
He would win the job in a video interview that day in August 2017, joining hundreds of other U.S. military helicopter pilots who have taken attractive offers from domestic airlines trying ease a global pilot shortage.
Military service takes people all over the globe and offers unique experiences. Those opportunities are invaluable. However, when military service is over, being able to return home is often top priority. For Thomas England, the end goal was to find a job back home in Kansas City so he could provide a stable life for his family. Through Cintas, he found an occasion to do just that and has thrived in the process.
Every great manager or director has to start somewhere: Joe McFarland, executive vice president at Lowe's, began as a sales associate in the light bulb aisle of Home Depot. But before that, he spent six years in the Marine Corps as an aviation mechanic. When he left the military in August 1993, he knew that his technical skills were not relevant: "No one was looking for someone to fire a .50-cal out of a door. My technical skills weren't as important as my people skills."