It can be difficult and confusing to transition from military to civilian work, making it both exhilarating and frightening to leave that security and structure behind. Craig joined GDIT directly after serving 27 years in the U.S. Army and knows those feelings all too well.
“I think every person leaving the military has a very similar fear. You don’t know where your next job is going to come from. You don’t know if the skills you learn in the military are going to be applicable. But GDIT has been a great place to come.”
Transitioning from commander to civilian
As a Director in the Defense Division with GDIT, Craig has been able to apply his military learned strengths and skills to his civilian career from day one.
“There is a little bit less of a learning curve. You spend less time understanding how commands work and how assignments work. And you can spend the time that you need on the business aspects: understanding the contract side, understanding the employee side, and then making sure that you can match up the customer’s desires with the business aspect.”
Continuing to serve through the Honor Employee Resource Group
The Honor Employee Resource Group (ERG) is a community for employees who have a background in the military, through their personal service, or as a friend or family member. It provides an atmosphere in which they can come back and continue to serve. As a leader of the military-centered ERG, Craig is focused on supporting internal and external employees.
“Many people who are veterans feel the desire to serve and so the ERG not only provides access to resources, but it provides you another avenue to continue to serve your country and support those causes that you feel are really important.”
“We also do some things that I consider to be very important, which is helping veterans as they come out of the military find employment. We launched a pilot program recently to offer mentorship and information for transitioning veterans here inside of GDIT.”
Veterans are more than 25% of GDIT’s workforce. We understand the impact of their skills and expertise in the workplace, which is why we are dedicated to recruiting veterans, service family members, wounded warriors, and their caregivers.
“GDIT is committed to hiring veterans. We’re using the reach of the ERG to contact those people we know because our common saying is that every veteran knows five other veterans. We help connect those individuals to our talent acquisition team and assist other veterans like me as they leave the military to find employment to carry them on through their second career.”
Craig has found that sharing his story has been the most successful support method.
“I try to share my experience about the things that went well and the things that didn’t go well. I work to make their transition out of the military as smooth as possible and with every hope that they can come to a company just like GDIT.”
In the trenches with hard conversations
Much more than a social group, the ERGs are a vital part of the employee experience. They work to provide a community that allows for a safe place for difficult conversations. While he joined the Honor ERG initially as an opportunity to network and learn more about the company, Craig quickly found himself back in a leadership role.
“I got involved with the employee resource group. They asked me to lead it and I felt like there were a number of skills that I had built in the military that would become applicable to leading, from planning the activities to looking long-range to understanding what the ERG did for the company as a whole.”
Honor takes on a number of veteran-related causes in support of the larger veteran community.
“We’ve supported important topics like veteran suicide. We’ve addressed post-traumatic stress. We talk about the post-military healthcare system. We talk about those things that the company does to support those causes and how GDIT, through a number of our programs, is actually leading the effort in order to help veterans in a transition.”
The hope is that colleagues learn that these topics are not just things you hear about on TV, but that they actually touch people's lives and, in many cases, are very close to ours.
“While GDIT is a big business, when you work with a company that’s willing to invest in its employees and support employees, it takes a lot of that feeling of a big business away.”
Learn more about careers for transitioning military and veterans at GDIT.