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Why Hire a Veteran???

November 15, 2011


As a veteran I can attest to the many challenges veterans face when leaving active duty and seeking a career outside of the military. When I decided to separate I tried to set up a methodical approach to how I was going to market my skills and abilities to companies unfamiliar with the military culture.

Sure I had won top awards, had been ranked #1 amongst my peers consistently throughout my career but how did I market myself as a valuable asset to an organization and make that correlation from what I’ve done to what a company needs. Most companies don’t understand things like Wing, Flight, Battalion, Company etc. therefore when your resume says Commander of, what does that mean to a company? I was determined to build that bridge and was very excited about starting the next chapter of my life.

As I started distributing my resume, my hopes were high and the anticipation of taking the success I had achieved in the military and applying it to a civilian career was scary and exciting at the same time.
Then it happened…my phone didn’t ring and my schedule wasn’t full of interviews. As the day got closer to my separation date and the end of that income stream I was left thinking…Why? What now? How do I support my family? I remember seeing such support with so many people waving flags and stating that they support the troops…where were they now? I soon learned that these feelings were being felt by many veterans in my similar situation. As a company, why should you hire a veteran?
A veteran brings a proven work ethic, leadership, teamwork, and is mission focused. A veteran isn’t worried about what time he/she gets off…they live according to set values such as integrity, honor, selflessness, loyalty and understands the meaning of an honest days work. They are not concerned with meeting the standard; they strive to exceed it.

A veteran has been in many situations that have caused them to adapt quickly and think fast on their feet and are used to a high stress environment. A veteran can hit the ground running, learn fast, and will be an immediate contributor.

Sure their resume doesn’t reflect “industry experience” however, if you give them the opportunity you’ll soon figure out what an outstanding asset a veteran is to your organization. With so many qualities the true questions is…Why not hire a Veteran?

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About Chris Burgess

Chris Burgess has 15 years of diverse Federal Acquisition/Military experience from acquisition policy initiation and reviews, program management and planning, program controls, and operations. Chris served for 13 years with the United States Air Force before separating in April of 2008. While on active duty he served on both the enlisted and officer side. During his enlisted time Chris served as a healthcare professional for 5 ½ years working in several areas of the hospital to include: Emergency Room, Inpatient Ward, Post Operation, and, Pediatrics. During this time he pursued his BA in Organizational Management from Warner University which resulted in Chris’ selection to attend Officer Training School (OTS). Upon completion of OTS he became a Logistics Readiness Officer serving in various functions to include: Planning, Project/Program Management, Fuels Management, and Aerial Port Management. During his free time Chris completed an MBA from TUI University. While on active duty Chris taught several classes on both the enlisted and officer side and fell in love with that aspect of his career. That passion created a goal and motivated him to pursue educating at the collegiate level. Chris is currently a part time adjunct instructor for the University of Phoenix where he has taught over a thousand students on the topic of Cultural Diversity. After separating from the Air Force Chris became a Project Manager with L-3 Communications supporting the USMC. His first undertaking was a $31 Million initiative that allowed him to build realistic third world country villages for our young men and women to train in before heading over to hostile territories. Chris was then given the opportunity to oversee the Operator Driver Simulator program that provided the USMC with the ability to quickly and efficiently train student drivers on a multitude of platforms in a simulated environment saving millions of dollars in vehicle and fuel costs. Finally, Chris was promoted and named the Program Manager for the Family of Egress Trainers, a $156M program consisting of seven separate projects that allowed the USMC to train life saving evacuation techniques in a realistic controlled environment while in air, ground, and sea scenarios. After resigning from L-3 Communications Chris went on to get his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and is a current member of the Project Management Institute. Chris is committed to his family and is an active member in the community. In addition to the Project Management Institute, Chris is a member of the Military Officers Association of America and the Disabled American Veteran’s Organization.

View all posts by Chris Burgess


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