When highly accomplished and capable special operations military members' time in uniform comes to an end, it can be challenging to transition to a new career.
Innovative companies are similarly challenged by the need to identify talented and high-performing individuals who can tackle a wide array of issues across many departments in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. Special Operators bring focus, discipline, confidence, loyalty, and an ability to get things accomplished. To help with its talent needs, SaniteX Global partnered with the Special Operators Transition Foundation (SOTF) to identify and bring on three new Regional Directors: Jeff, Mike, and Don.
SOTF facilitates a four-step process focused on transitioning service members to a full-time civilian career. The SOTF model is not simply about finding work, it’s about informing SOTF veterans and private enterprises of the value of collaboration and what each offers the other. Their goal is to prepare their Fellows to fit into business culture where they will manage high-stress situations, build teams and innovate when conditions change.
SOTF’s process and mentors provided Jeff, Mike, and Don with a solid understanding of what post-military life is like so they were better prepared to take on the challenge of transition. They also learned to translate their skills and experiences into value propositions that resonate with business leaders and hiring managers. Upon their arrival, Jeff, Mike, and Don brought immediate value to SaniteX Global and re-open.com as it builds for the future.
“No one wants to be underutilized,” says Jeff Boers, SaniteX Global U.S Regional Director and a recently retired U.S. Army “Green Beret” Lieutenant Colonel with over 25-years of experience. Reflecting on his transition out of the military he says, "I didn’t know the outside world well. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew where I wanted to be.”
Jeff wanted to be close to family, which is a common reason for those leaving the military. Jeff says the SOTF program offers mentorship and allows fellows to work within their network to figure out who they are and where they want to go. Jeff also likes the unpredictability of the work. “Chaos is fun. It can be problematic and challenging but it’s also fun – it tests you.”
After 21-years in the Marine Corps, most of that time with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Mike was ready to start a new career and be around his family more. “[Family] sacrifice a lot while you’re in [the military] because serving is at the core of everything you do,” says SaniteX Global’s newest employee, Mike Winn. There are many reasons Mike was drawn to re-open.com. Working with a small, driven team to tackle big problems was at the top of the list.
Another member of the SaniteX Global team is Don Kingston. In his 21-years of service with the U.S. Army, he and his family lived in 13 different places. “We enjoyed getting to see and live all over the world during my time in the Army. In my last assignment we lived near family for the first time and decided we wanted to continue to enjoy that experience by retiring,” he says.
Through SOTF, these three men found themselves working at SaniteX Global, doing invaluable work for one of its portfolio companies re-open.com. CEO and founder of SaniteX Global, David A. Collard is thrilled with their addition to the team. “These men are the best of the best."
“Their unique skill set and expertise combined with their network of connections make them invaluable to re-open.com."
“Most of all it has challenged my way of thinking too. It makes me proud to do my small part to foster Aussie and US mateship.”
“We’re getting to build something from scratch,” Don says. As someone who used to build houses, Don says seeing the re-open.com platform progress gives him the same feeling as finishing a house.
All three veterans say they have found purpose through working at SaniteX Global. Not only do they find meaning and purpose in the work, but they also find similar aspects from their roles in the military.
Don likes the multi-functional aspects of working on re-open.com and with SaniteX Global more broadly. He enjoys being able to learn a breadth of new things while knowing he is doing something to help people.
To servicemen looking to transition, the consensus among Jeff, Don, and Mike is to tap into the transition resources available to transitioning service members, like SOTF, instead of trying to do it yourself.
SOTF enabled them to successfully transition to a new civilian career. SaniteX Global has provided the opportunity for them to utilize their high-level expertise, and re-open.com is their next mission.
SOTF is a nonprofit 501 c(3) charity and our Foundation confers Fellowships exclusively to Special Operations veterans: Army Special Forces, Ranger Regiment, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders, and Army/Airforce Special Aviation units. For more info: www.sotf.org.