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Small donald schneider




Director, Service Operations
U.S. Marine Corps - Gunnery Sergeant, Aviation Support Equipment Electrician/Refrigeration Technician

The Services Team supports our customers and their needs by installing, servicing and repairing our products and software. My specific role as Operations Director is leading a group of teams in a geographic region, supporting the installed base and new customers as noted above. The key contribution of my role is developing my managers and their teams in his or her role so we are prepared for our customer needs today and tomorrow. The second most important role is to attack and remove obstacles to our team’s success and our customers’ needs. This is accomplished by aligning resources and empowering team members at every level to solve problems themselves. The skill of understanding operational risk management learned in the United States Marine Corps is the bedrock of success for me in this role.


Your choices when selecting your first job outside of the military should focus on the team you want to join and not the job you want to get. Understanding followership is as important as demonstrating leadership. In any new role you are placed in, you start “at the bottom”. When you perform well at whatever job or task you are assigned to, you will find success and opportunities will become plentiful.


Like all military veterans, I started out in “basic training” or boot camp quickly followed by my specialty training. While these “qualified” me for my first job interview it was the key roles I pulled from my service experience and shared in my tailored resume that had the phone ringing on day one. The collateral duties you were assigned may be more valuable than your primary MOS experience.  Technical skills AND experience are key to landing that job or commanding a hirer salary offer. Look at state certifications and licenses that you can secure with your military experience and make sure to secure any needed documentations according to the qualification you are targeting.

Documenting and retaining your certifications and qualifications is not as important as translating these to “civilian-ese.” Understanding and successfully converting the key accomplishments to their civilian equivalent will greatly enhance your resume value. Working on the flightline, on the reactor plant or on a live fire range all have quality and risk management elements but how you present your understanding and mastery of these elements are how you get ahead of others in the hiring line. Finally, I agree with the transition office in regards to writing a specific resume for each job posting and add the experience and success you have that apply to that job.

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