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    Dakota Meyer speaks to transitioning service members

    Dakota Meyer speaks to transitioning service members

    Photo By Sgt. Janessa Pon | Ross Cohen, the executive director of Hiring Our Heroes, opens the discussion panel...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Janessa Pon 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa - Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer participated in a transition summit seminar June 10-11 at the Camp Foster Community Center in order to help prepare service members transitioning out of the military and onto new career paths.

    During the seminar, held by the Transition Assistance Management Program, a part of Marine Corps Community Services, Okinawa, a panel of speakers shared their experiences of transitioning out of the service and into separate careers.

    “Of all the obstacles (service members) face in their military careers, possibly one of the most difficult is transitioning out of the military,” said Meyer, a Columbia, Kentucky, native. “It is often found that (they) struggle to find employment in the corporate world, not because they are unqualified, but because it is difficult for (them) to understand what to expect of an employer, and for the employer to know what they are getting in a (service member).”

    Meyer served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a scout sniper and received the Medal of Honor for showing courage under enemy fire while saving the lives of more than two dozen Afghan soldiers, as well as recovering the bodies of four service members in a 6-hour engagement with Taliban fighters during the Battle of Ganjgal, Afghanistan, Sept. 8, 2009.

    Today, Meyer serves as a transitional readiness speaker with the transition summit team throughout the Marine Corps, speaking on his experiences in moving from the military lifestyle to the corporate world. Like Meyer, many of the speakers and team members were able to provide advice based on their own personal transitions.

    “We are here to provide job opportunities and give families a chance to find the best opportunity possible for employment after the military,” said Dean Daniel, a program manager with the Transition Assistance Management Program, MCCS, Okinawa. “It can be difficult to seek jobs back in the U.S., so we brought the venue to Okinawa to provide (service members) with opportunities to seek stateside employment and develop the skills necessary to pursue a career outside of the military.”

    Employment representatives from several organizations, including Hilton Worldwide, FedEx and Hiring Our Heroes, were available to assist service members in developing skills such as interviewing and resume writing. Having these representatives present during the seminar allowed attendees to gain a better understanding of how to take skills obtained during military service and apply them toward a career in the corporate world, according to Kathryn Poynton, the director of events with Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

    “It’s more than just giving them lectures; it is a chance for (networking),” said Poynton, a Springfield, Virginia, native. “That’s half the battle. Anyone can sit in a seminar and just be talked at, but to interact and ask questions and talk personally with an employer makes it so much more real for them.”

    Service members also attended a job fair to network and apply for employment with organizations both in person and online.

    “The key factor in transitioning from overseas is not your location; it is knowing what (options) are available, making an effort to explore possibilities and take advantage of the resources provided,” said Daniel, a Stamford, Connecticut, native. “Too often, we see people in here 90 days before they head out and they’re overwhelmed. People who can get to these transitional readiness classes 12-14 months before they separate, or 24 months before retiring, have a much more ideal setup, because they are aware of what they can do with their military experience. When you have the time to explore those options, you have time to plan and time to set yourself up for success.”



    Date Taken: 06.11.2015
    Date Posted: 06.18.2015 20:08
    Story ID: 167067
    Hometown: COLUMBIA, KY, US
    Hometown: SPRINGFIELD, VA, US
    Hometown: STAMFORD, CT, US

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