What Veterans Want

One Marine's transition to civilian work.

By Dori Meinert Oct 31, 2016
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​After 11 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, David Orick recently left the military to take his first full-time civilian job. He and his wife, Yen, and infant son, Liam, have resettled in Tennessee to be closer to family.

A few months ago, David Orick, 33, was designing and conducting live-fire training exercises at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center near the southern California city of Twentynine Palms.

The infantry captain was calculating surface-fire danger zones, a job that demanded considerable mathematical skills to keep his trainees safe. At certain points in his 11-year military career, he was keeping track of $8 million in equipment and managing 1,000 people.

Yet when he sat down to write a resume for jobs in the civilian world, he wasn’t sure he had the kind of skills that private companies wanted.

“I didn’t even know where to start. What am I good at? I know my strengths, but how does that translate in the corporate world?” he recalls wondering.

He wanted to go back to Tennessee to be closer to his family. But he had no idea what industry to consider. He wanted a managerial role, something that paid enough for him to be able to take care of his growing family. And he wanted to do something worthwhile.

“I wanted to be part of something that I could be proud of,” he says.

With the help of Bradley-Morris Inc., a private veterans recruiting company, Orick learned how to translate his military skills into civilian skills for his resume and job interviews. After just eight interviews, he accepted a job as operations manager for Radial, which handles distribution for retail companies, in Memphis. Company representatives told him they valued the teamwork mentality and leadership qualities that veterans bring.

Three things in particular impressed Orick about Radial:

• The hiring managers and HR professionals who interviewed him clearly spelled out the company’s organizational chart, or chain of command.

• Several of his interviewers were veterans, who were better able to understand Orick’s military background.

• The company assigned Orick a sponsor, another veteran hired just six months earlier who could guide Orick and his wife in their house search and answer his questions about the job itself.

Orick and his wife, Yen, who have lived apart for three of the five years they’ve been married, look forward to settling in to a new life with their infant son, Liam.

Main Article: Why Hiring Veterans Makes Good Business Sense

Photograph courtesy of David Orick

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