“I Never Saw That Career Coming”

By Emily Oehler, WTC Stratcom

BG Horne told wounded warriors and employers at the 2010 AW2 Career Expo that throughout his 30 years in the Army, he never saw his next career coming. As he started out in air artillery defense, he never saw it coming when he moved to missile defense. As he moved to human resources, he never saw that coming either.

“I never thought I’d be the head of human resources for the largest company in the world—the Army, but like all Soldiers I did know leadership,” BG Horne explained. Horne is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Army G1.

The AW2 Career Expo is a two-day event that focuses on helping more than 125 wounded warriors reintegrate back into their communities through meaningful careers. The event offers sessions on education opportunities, resume writing, interview skills, being an entrepreneur, salary and benefits, and career planning; plus personal time with more than 51 employers who are eager to hire wounded warriors. For the first time, this event was opened up to local severely wounded, injured and ill servicemembers from every military branch.

BG Horne told the crowd that now more than ever he understood how hard the transition was to look for a job post retirement explaining, “I retire in two weeks. I thought I got it until I really got it. I had to maintain my current job, start searching for a new job, and coordinate with the VA. This is hard. The pressure builds up as you go through the process.”

Horne told the Career Expo participants about the new Veterans Employment Transition Program which aims to support career transition efforts for wounded warriors. “This makes good business sense for the Soldier and the local community—the cost to society of not doing this is huge.” He pointed out that veterans as a group are leading the U.S. in homelessness and the unemployment of veterans is twice the national average, but added that, “never before has there been a time when more Americans are supporting local Veterans—we’ve learned a lot since Vietnam. Employers know they get a proven population of leaders from the military.”

Businesses who are interested in establishing an expedited application process for hiring wounded, injured and ill Soldiers, Veterans and their spouses should contact the AW2 Career and Education Team at AW2CareerProgram@conus.army.mil.

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