My Next Big Project – Veteran Recruitment Division

***UPDATE 3/18 *** There has been a major change.  However, I do not want to “change history” so to speak. So my original article will remain as is.  I will simply provide an update here.  After completing the Business Architecture for the Veteran Recruitment Division at CSS, the company made the decision not to invest in the expansion, and has ceased it’s formal Veteran Recruiting initiatives. With that, I am no longer working with the organization.  It may have not been the right time – and luckily for the Veterans I have been working with, we were able to identify that early in the process.  The good news is:  I will continue with the architecture I have built and use it to work with Veterans, and feverishly offer my consultation services to employers seeking to develop Veterans on-boarding programs.  With that, if you are struggling in your transition or know a Vet who is, please do not hesitate to direct them here and have them reach out!

***Original article below***


So… I want to take a turn from the regular.

Appropriately so... Consider this your Warning Order.
Appropriately so… Consider this your Warning Order.

I want to take a moment to make an update on what I am working on.  I am very excited about it, and I am happy to be in a position where I will be pushed, urged and encouraged to continuously make it better. What is “it”?

I am responsible for developing the Veteran Recruitment Division at the Executive Search and Placement firm, Creative Solutions Services, LLC.  I will be continuously building relationships, my own personal knowledge base, and opportunities for U.S. Military Veterans.  I will be doing so, by developing programs and events that help Veterans make the transition into the Corporate world and at the same time, helping large corporations and small companies understand the vast array of talents and unique skills offered by U.S. Veterans.  But, I’ll be the first to call it out… there are TONS of organizations that do this, and transitioning is still dreaded… isn’t it?  I think it is.  Do I think I will be THE solution? No.. probably not.  But, I will be at least A solution, at least A spoke in the wheel.

So, here are some of the things I will be working on:

–          A NON-Hiring Mixer.  Yes, a non-hiring mixer.  This will likely be one of the first events I put on, sponsored by CSS, LLC.  I will organize HR managers and members from companies from the NYC Metro area with hiring authority, along with skilled Vets, who are transitioning, recently transitioned, and either will, or are looking to start their careers or career paths.  The event will be an informal, social event with a brief introduction, an open script.  The plan is to give HR managers and Veterans a chance to view the battlefield from the other-side, or as many military planners might say “Turn the map around”.  This will be a chance for Vets and Civilian employers to see what creates the “translation gap” as I call it; make connections; ask questions and get, not answers, but insight!

–          Skills Translation & resume FunShop – Add fundamentals and workshop, and you get a FunShop!  This will be geared towards Veterans seeking employment and guidance in their career track.  We will take information continuously gained by my firm from hiring managers.  Then, instructed by myself, a Veteran, with the possibility of additional guest speakers.  We will be taking a sample of common Military Occupational Specialties and translating their skills, into the proper verbiage that hiring managers understand.  We will discuss just what gets a resume “flagged” in a good way, and what gets it just looked right past.

–          Additional feedback and Skills translation seminars for hiring managers will be offered with Corporations and companies looking to capitalize on the benefits of Veteran experience in the workplace.

–          Even more events will be planned in coordinated efforts with strategic partners in the education track, employment track, skilled trades, professional track, and continuing/higher education programs.

Whether you were a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine – your training did not end after boot camp or basic training.  So why should your training…better yet, education for being successful as a productive citizen end after a two week crash course?  It doesn’t have to – and I, with the support and encouragement of Creative Solutions Services, LLC and its partners will be doing all that I can to ensure it won’t be.

Found the Unexpected… How’d I not expect it?

Happy 237th Birthday Marines

For those who have followed, my transition from being an Active Duty Marine for over 9 years – to becoming a constructive member of society as a civilian – has been quite the life experience in and of itself.  The more time passes, the more it seems that a lot of the transition friction comes from the disbelief that I no longer wear the uniform.  It is so shocking because I never thought I’d feel that way.  However, last night, I got to experience my first Marine Corps Birthday celebration, cake cutting, and honoring of traditions, as a civilian – amongst a group of Brother-Strangers, also known as Marine Veterans.

It was quite the experience, to sit, stand, talk, drink, embrace, listen, share stories, see memories relived through story, and generations of traditions right in front of me.  The group has no “official” affiliation, it simply has a commitment to meeting once a year, to celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday, and started with the traditions of a group of Marines from Woodside, Queens.  Of which, even within the same elementary school, has reared two Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients, Navy Cross, Bronze Stars, and more.  The Woodside neighborhood has more military awards than any zip code in the Nation, or so I was taught last night.  I invite Malcolm Gladwell to add to this neighborhood to his studies as a lost chapter to his book “Outliers”.  This group of Marines has extended its annual celebration to anyone who has felt the brim of a campaign cover on the bridge of their nose.

The event took place at a great, Marine-Veteran owned Italian restaurant in Chelsea, Manhattan. The event coordinated by another Marine Businessman.  There was a Marine Birthday Cake, The reading of John A. Lejeune’s Birthday Message, reading of the Commandant’s Birthday Message, we honored the MIA/POW table, taps was played, and amongst grown men, tears were wiped away.  More stories were shared, connections made, and help offered.  As once, and as always: Marines looking out for the Marine to their right and to their left.

I had only met 2 out of the 20 or so Marines there.  All serving from the Korean War, to just returning from the War on Terror in Afghanistan.  There were two, father-son, Marine-legacies across generations.  I should have never been as surprised as I was, but for a brief period of one evening, I felt at home amongst would be “strangers”.  I should have never been surprised… they were never strangers, they were my brothers.  They were, and forever will be – Marines.

Robert E. O’Malley’s Medal of Honor Citation

Commandant’s Birthday Message 2012

Woodside, Queens – Home of Heroes