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    Jimenez finds second home with DCMA

    Jimenez finds second home with DCMA

    Courtesy Photo | Martin Jimenez waves farewell during his retirement ceremony in 2005. The former...... read more read more



    Story by Matthew Montgomery 

    Defense Contract Management Agency

    GARRISON WAINWRIGHT, Alberta – The horrors of the battlefield can be jarring and test even the strongest military personnel’s mettle. During the Canadian military’s largest exercise of the year, Exercise Maple Resolve 2014 (EX MR14) here May 5-June 1, one group endeavors to present troops with the reality of war in an effort to better equip them to face such horrors.

    The road to getting a job can be difficult for veterans medically separating from military service. For Martin Jimenez, Defense Contract Management Agency Palmdale F-35 program lead quality assurance specialist, the transition from military to government service was not easy, but government programs and mentors made the transition successful.

    “The biggest challenge and hurdle to get over was facing the realization my career had been cut short by 10 to 11 years, and now I had to find employment in the civilian sector,” said Jimenez. “Fortunately, I had a very solid command structure on the active duty side and a very supportive commanding officer.”

    Jimenez, a decorated Navy veteran, spent 20 years as a naval air crewman and rescue swimmer. He had planned on a 30 year Navy career, but had to retire before he hit 20 due to medical reasons. During the medical discharge process, Jimenez connected with a Department of Veterans Affairs representative who told him about the “Fulfilling the Commitment – Coming Home to Work” program. He was one of the first participants of the initiative that started in 2005.

    Under CHTW, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom military personnel going through the final phase of military separation have the ability to work for organizations and learn job skills while still being paid by their respective military service.

    It was still a stressful time since the process is lengthy and the loss of income was going to affect his wife and daughter. “We had to figure out what we were going to do next,” said Jimenez. “We were living in San Diego and knew we weren’t going to stay there because the cost of living was so high. The bills were piling up, and the economy had us very worried.”

    The VA initially placed Jimenez in an organization he didn’t connect with, and soon he was looking for other opportunities. Eventually, he connected with DCMA and hasn’t looked back since.

    “I quickly learned that life in DCMA was going to be very beneficial and quite enjoyable,” said Jimenez. “The first two people I met with DCMA happened to be the QA group director and contracts supervisor. They took me under their wing and put me in touch with other QAs who really helped me. If I had a question, they would walk me through the answer. They would also ask me on a regular basis how I was doing and made sure I had everything I needed.”

    When the opportunity to work fulltime with DCMA presented itself, it was an easy decision for Jimenez.

    “The program gave me an opportunity, but securing a job was up to me,” said Jimenez. “I was very fortunate that multiple openings for QAs were available as my separation paperwork was finalized. I was able to start with DCMA two weeks after retirement.”

    “The number one reason I decided to join DCMA was I felt my active duty time was cut short and I still wanted to give back,” continued Jimenez. “This was the perfect opportunity — working on systems the troops and the sailors are using out in the forefront.”



    Date Taken: 05.02.2014
    Date Posted: 05.15.2014 14:44
    Story ID: 129955
    Location: PALMDALE, CA, US 

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