Jovane, how long ago did you transition out of the military?
I went on terminal leave from Camp Pendleton on Oct. 19, 2012, and my end of active service date was Nov. 16, 2012.
What did you do to prepare for this?
I have self-prescribed OCD, so naturally I wanted everything to be perfect. I was planning my transition more than a year out from my separation. I thoroughly researched articles on transitioning, made sure all of my paperwork was completed (including transferring over my Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 and starting my disability compensation claims) and took advantage of additional transition programs (I participated in the Boots to Business Program, which allows service members to shadow professionals in their desired field for up to a month.)
What would you tell someone who has never been in the military about military life? Many civilians really do not understand what day-day service is about.
I think that the civilian view of military life is skewed. When I used to tell people I was a Marine, I could see them picturing me crawling under barbed wire through a battlefield, taking fire and barking orders. For some, military service is like that, but it encompasses so much more. There are many facets to military life. We function as a self-containing unit. We have cooks, medics, administrators, journalists, photographers, postal clerks, you name it, there’s probably a military specialty for it. There are deployments, of course, and permanent changes of station, not to mention exercises, formations and daily physical training, but on the outside of that, we’re regular people with regular families. We love our country and we love what we do. Whether we are on the front line or serving up chow in the mess hall, we know that our individual accomplishments add to the completion of the overall mission, and contribute to the safety of the nation as a whole.
Where are you now career or school-wise and how does that reflect purpose to you?
I’ve always loved writing. I did it before I joined the Marines, it was my job while I was in the military and I wanted to continue in that avenue when I transitioned into the civilian sector. While enlisted I fell in love with public relations, and decided to pursue a career in that field after my service. I am currently working as the marketing & conference coordinator for U.S. Veterans Magazine, and am attending school to complete my bachelor’s degree in Communications. Walking in my purpose is very important to me. I truly believe that working in this career field and gaining the education I need to fully understand and hone my craft will help me to make a great impact in my community (especially the veteran community) and the world.
What is one misconception about hiring a reservist or veteran that you would like to dispel?
I’ve heard of very few negatives concerning hiring veterans, but I think that the biggest one can be dispelled easily. It’s a simple case of preconception. As I mentioned before, the civilian view of military life is skewed. Many think the actors portraying service members are providing a completely accurate view of everyone who has ever served in the military. This is simply not true. Each veteran is unique and has had a different military experience.
What are the top reasons – in your perspective to hire a veteran.
Whenever a company is looking to hire a new employee, they are looking for someone with tried and true morals and characteristics. Veterans come into an interview pre-packaged with years of desirable traits that any employer, regardless of industry or trade, needs to ensure their company is successful. We take initiative, we are disciplined, we come early and stay late, we are cool under pressure and we know the value of our job, no matter how small, as it pertains to overall mission accomplishment. In short, veterans just make good business sense.