01-16-2014 09:20 AM
Barksdale Air Force Base
Interim Commander, 2007
By Marshall Green,
Senior Talent Programs Advisor
At the ripe old age of 18, I joined the Air Force Delayed Entry Program and prepared for the next 22 years of my life. Joining the military was in my blood. My father served in the Army during World War II, one of my brothers served in Vietnam and another brother served in Korea. My military journey took me from basic training to more than 13 years as a commissioned officer, with a master’s degree along the way.
After I retired from the military, I had to answer a basic question: What next? I knew I wanted to live in my home away from home, San Antonio. And there was one thing that had been consistent in my life for the past 15 years — my relationship with USAA. In addition to providing my auto and renters insurance, USAA was my bank of choice and my source for retirement planning. Plus, USAA’s core values of service, loyalty, honesty and integrity align closely with those of the Air Force: “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.” These values elevated USAA to the very top of my job prospect list.
My Job Search
During my search, I encountered something that I see often in my current work. I was a candidate with the right experience, applying to the right company, but at the wrong time. Many veterans out there will face this dilemma as they transition from military service. You may end up starting your civilian career in a position that falls short of “dream job” status, just as I did. I applied for several USAA positions that I thought I would be a lock for, but I wasn’t hired. So I took a position with a well-respected consulting firm and learned as much as I could for almost three years.
I continued to do what every transitioning veteran should focus on: networking. An acquaintance of mine worked at USAA and couldn’t say enough about how incredible the environment was there. I decided to give it another shot. This time, I was more focused, and more importantly, I was more seasoned. I was a veteran with relevant corporate experience. I had a pretty good understanding of USAA’s mission to facilitate financial security for its members, associates and their families. And, like USAA, I live and breathe customer service.
Al Udeid Air Base Deployment
A Break in the Action, 2009
Fast-forward to today. As a member of USAA’s Talent Acquisition Strategy and Planning team, I help veterans and their spouses with career placement within USAA, resume writing and other career tactics. Today, I have my dream job: I have my finger on the pulse of what veterans need, and I get the chance to help them transition to civilian life.
USAA is an amazing organization that puts our members first and foremost. We are committed to our CEO’s pledge that 30% of all new hires will be veterans or spouses of veterans. The recent announcement that USAA ranked 17th on FORTUNE’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For came as no surprise to me.
For two decades, I served my country on active duty, and now with USAA I continue to serve. The moral of my story is never give up.
Stay hungry. Network. And don’t be discouraged if the timing isn’t
exactly how you had imagined it would be. You too can have your
No Department of Defense or government agency endorsement.
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