By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Communications Division
Leaving the military can be a nerve-racking experience for a wounded, ill and injured Soldier, but Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Veteran Billy Guyton will attest to using the resources the Army offers to successfully transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
Guyton was hired by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), the organization that operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment.
“I was looking for a job,” Guyton said. “I told my Advocate, and the next thing I knew I was being contacted by the hiring manager from DeCA.”
Guyton’s AW2 Advocate contacted the AW2 Career and Education Cell in hopes of getting him in the Expedited Referral Process, a process that connects AW2 Veterans with employers who are looking to hire wounded, ill and injured Veterans and have agreed to expedite the hiring process for qualified Veterans.
“Billy’s advocate submitted an issue requesting employment assistance,” said Mullen. “I was the ‘connector’ between Billy and DeCA, because I knew if I could get someone to speak with Billy, they would want to hire him.”
“If a Soldier or Veteran is looking for employment, we ask that they contact their Advocate,” said Vicki Mullen, AW2 Labor Liaison Specialist. “The Advocate will notify us, and we will start the employment process.”
Guyton learned firsthand the process works but it requires the Soldier or Veteran to do their part to help.
“The resume plays a huge part in getting hired,” Mullen said. “Soldiers and Veterans should ensure their resumes contain all of the information required before submitting it for employment.”
“If they have 5-10 years of experience and the federal resume is only a couple of paragraphs they have left out a lot of information,” she added. “Use all resources available to you i.e., ACAP, DOL, Transition Coordinators, etc.”
Guyton, who was recently promoted to a supervisory position, proves success can transfer from the military to the civilian workforce, but recommends a Soldier or Veteran take chances and use the resources available.
“I was an engineer in the military, but I’m working in logistics,” he said. “I’m glad DeCA saw that I had other skills to bring to the table.”
“Just because you are doing one thing in the military it doesn’t require you to do the same job as a civilian,” Guyton added. “Hopefully, Veterans and employers will continue to look beyond the military specialty title and focus on the military skills.”
Visit AW2’s old blog for additional stories on AW2’s career and education services and stories of Soldiers and Veterans successfully finding employment.
The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families, wherever they are located, regardless of military status. Soldiers who qualify for AW2 are assigned to the program as soon as possible after arriving at the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). AW2 supports these Soldiers and their Families throughout their recovery and transition, even into Veteran status. Through the local support of AW2 Advocates, AW2 strives to foster the Soldier’s independence. There are more than 19,000 Soldiers and Veterans currently in AW2.