“Now what?” That’s a common question among military veterans discharged from the military, particularly when it comes to landing a new career.
Veterans, including former special forces members, often face challenges adjusting to civilian life. They emerge from an environment of military unit cohesion into a vastly different civilian setting. They must adjust from living and working in a rigorously organized military social structure to a fragmented civilian social structure.
Employers sometimes balk at hiring vets because they see them as too rigid or formal while some are concerned that they don't fit into corporate culture, according to a study by the Center for a New American Security.
The three typical careers available to former military with special operations backgrounds include the medical, security, and intelligence fields. Positions like Physician Assistant or nurse align with the medical training these veterans already have. The security profession requires expert abilities to monitor activity, do surveillance, and be physically capable to protect clients. The private and public sector intelligence community looks for people who are proficient in collecting, compiling, and analyzing information for them. Again, these are positions that require skill sets that come with special forces veterans.
Yet, each of those opportunities demands only a portion of any special forces veteran’s total abilities. Identifying a career with a company that requires the full suite of their skills is a bigger challenge. The travel crisis management industry is one place where many veterans have found a career opportunity that requires the total skill set of a special forces veteran and also blends the most desirable attributes of civilian and military work environments.
The travel crisis industry helps individuals and organizations across a broad range of emergencies worldwide. For example, a skiing accident in Chile required immediate medical advisory and complex coordination for a medical evacuation. A business traveler operating in Beirut had to have security support. In the Seychelles off the east coast of Africa, an individual who was bitten by a giant trevally needed rescue, evacuation and repatriation to South Africa. A cyclist in Switzerland with a fractured ankle wanted medical advice. An international conservation group operating throughout Zimbabwe need to have both medical and security services.
Each example required people trained and experienced in medical, security, and intelligence skills. “This business relies on operational skills and executional excellence that aren’t readily available among most job-seekers unless the individual acquired those capabilities in the military,” said Harding Bush, a Global Rescue operations manager and retired Navy SEAL. “It’s been a great fit for me.”
In every situation, the stakes are really high. It’s work that matches the unconventional mindset and training found among former Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Delta Force medics, Army Rangers, Navy Intelligence Officers and Defense Intelligence Agency personnel.
“Clear-minded, mission focused, individuals with varied backgrounds in aeromedical evacuation, rescue coordination, security, intelligence or crisis response are key to the success of Global Rescue’s business,” said Scott Hume, VP Operations and former Army Infantryman. “That combination of skills is atypical outside of the military,” he added.
Veterans make up nearly 20 percent of the company roster and they consistently make a tremendous contribution to the company’s rescue capabilities. Every day, they are involved in medical, security and travel operations all over the globe to ensure its members are safe and sound.