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Hiring Our Heroes Col. Adam Rocke sits down to discuss Veteran skill sets that just don’t translate into the civilian workplace… and how to change that.

Moving like pond water. The balloon has gone up. Hit the silk. Bag your bandit…

If those expressions mean anything to you, then you may have been in the military. But what happens when vital information gets lost in translation as veterans enter the civilian world?

There’s no question that the military speaks its own language. And soldiers find that language is pretty complex to translate for the civilian world, especially when it comes to finding a job. 


And exiting military personnel often find the expression M.O.S. (occupation in the military) is met with blank stares in most companies across the country. It’s even harder to translate codes like 88 Mike (truck driver) or 88A (transportation worker) into a resume.

A driver that has thirty years of experience driving heavy equipment and trucks with the military should not have to start over when they transition life with a civilian carrier. But 88M and 88A don’t have a place on most trucking applications.

Military skills lost in translation have had dire consequences: A really shocking seventy percent of Veterans in the workforce face underemployment. 

The team at Hiring our Heroes (HOH) is working to change that for outgoing soldiers. They have developed the Resume Engine in partnership with Toyota

The Resume Engine is a straightforward name, which seems appropriate for what it does. It translates those very M.O.S. codes into resume ready language. And it aids soldiers in formulating a resume that will give them the competitive edge they earned with their military stripes.

Veterans find the transition into civilian life complicated enough. And finding employment ranks high on most exiting personnel’s list of stresses. In fact, most soldiers start searching for their career transition eighteen months before they leave the military.

“Transition starts in basic training.”

But “transition starts in Basic Camp,” according Col. Adam Rocke, Senior Director at Hiring our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. He explains that Veterans have the skills– Leadership, Dedication, and Perseverance, and they need to be recognized as assets in the civilian workplace.

And Col. Rocke’s goal is for Veterans to find meaningful employment. For him, that translates into pay and benefits commensurate with what they had in the military.

“Every service is a little bit different… We want to expose our service men and women to their own potential.”


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