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The Hunter for Military Officers - January 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009
In this Issue:
Junior Military Officers: America’s Best Leaders,
Featured Position,
Companies Recently Hiring through Orion,
Success Story,
According to Your Peers
Junior Military Officers: America’s Best Leaders

Junior Military Officers and the roles they play within their units and beyond have been redefined within the last few years. With war on two fronts and a military potentially spread too thin, Junior Military Officers have become “wise beyond their years,” according to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is this growing level of experience and leadership that led U.S. News & World Report to list Junior Military Officers among America’s Best Leaders for 2008. JMOs are the only group listed among individuals such as Steven Spielberg and Lance Armstrong.

Leadership and responsibility are not new in the world of a JMO, but it seems that their scope has grown far beyond that of a pre-911 world. U.S. News cites the example of Captain Sean Dynan and his responsibilities in Afghanistan. CPT Dynan was responsible for everything from determining how much ammunition to carry to negotiating with local tribesmen. Having served four tours in a war zone, his leadership skills have been uniquely honed as his level of responsibility reached unprecedented levels.

Nathaniel Fick, author of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, illustrates this new-found scope of responsibility when he recalls a young platoon leader in Iraq whose area of operations covered a six-hour drive. Fick explains that this is something “we haven’t seen before in the history of the military.” General Petraeus himself acknowledged this paradigm shift when he expressed admiration for captains throughout the branches in congressional testimony in 2008.

With conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been said that lieutenants and captains often have more combat experience than many generals. With this experience comes tough judgment calls, as well as many administrative decisions. It is this experience that makes JMOs so attractive to Corporate America when they go to hire new leaders. It is this same new standard that led U.S. News to include JMOs on their 2008 list of America’s Best Leaders.

Orion International is uniquely positioned to help JMOs get in front of hiring managers who understand why they are among America’s best leaders. Our client companies are ready to leverage that leadership within their company. Orion is owned and operated by former military professionals representing all branches of the Armed Forces, enabling us to provide personalized, knowledgeable service. Please visit our website to learn more.

Featured Position

Sales Engineer at a Global Leader in Automotive Experience, Power Solutions, and Building Efficiency

Our client’s Building Solutions division is aggressively growing, and seeking Sales Engineers. You will learn and apply the sales process to sell commercial and industrial building controls equipment and systems to primary decision makers responsible for construction of new and renovated buildings.

Requirements: You should be interested in a career in Sales and possess strong Technical aptitude. Educational background in Science or Engineering; OR equivalent practical experience in maintenance or technical military occupation.

Location: Major metro areas throughout the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast United States

Salary: First year compensation package = $80K; quickly moves up to $100K+

To be considered for our Sales Engineer openings, please contact your recruiter,or send an email to

Companies Recently Hiring through Orion









Frito Lay




Miller Brewing

NES Rentals

Occidental Petroleum

Southwestern Energy


Victory Media


Job Seeker Success Story

Steve Ruggiero, Developmental Store Co-Manager

I left the Army as a Captain in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps in March 2008. My final position was Company Commander of Echo Company, 71st Transportation BN at Ft. Eustis, Virginia. I began searching for a job in August 2008.

I first heard about Orion International from a fellow Captain and USMA graduate. He used Orion when he left active duty but was activated as a reservist and assigned to Ft. Eustis where I met him. My first encounter with Orion came when I was preparing for my transition out of the Army. Orion provided me with a resume template, which I used to write my resume. Once I went forward with my search, Todd Phillips, my Orion recruiter, made everything easy for me from day one. There was an upcoming conference in my area, and he told me what I needed to do to prepare. Todd made sure he understood
what I was looking for and matched my needs with companies at the conference.

During this process I was interviewing with many other companies outside of Orion, but my compatibility with the jobs available was hit or miss. Whenever I attended an Orion conference, though, each one of the companies I met was a great fit. I cannot stress enough what a difference that makes; it was a huge relief to find so many fits with so little effort expended on my part. Todd had my best interests in mind, and I knew it.

My first conference was a short time after I filled out the Orion application. I already had my resume prepared and had a few interviews under my belt. The first day of the conference was about refreshing interview techniques and learning about the companies at the conference. Orion recruiters do a great job letting you know what the companies are looking for, which is absolutely key in order to sell yourself by relating your strengths to what the company needs.

I interviewed with three companies at the second conference, resulting in two follow-on opportunities. One of those yielded an offer with a Fortune 300 company. My interview with Wal-Mart required significant preparation. Fortunately, Orion has an account executive that helps candidates prepare specifically for interviews with Wal-Mart, Michele Zambrano. She has a great success rate with helping candidates get hired by Wal-Mart, and I walked away from the interview with an offer. So in a tough economy, I actually had the luxury of choosing between two great offers!

I am now a Developmental Store Co-Manager with Wal-Mart, the #1 Fortune 500 company. Although I had not considered working in retail before hearing about the Wal-Mart opportunity, it definitely meets all the criteria I was looking for in a new career: I am in a strong management role, there is plenty of opportunity for upward mobility, the company is strong and has a great culture, the compensation is great, and I am working in my location of choice in the Chicago suburbs. Orion clearly and absolutely met all of my needs in searching for a new career. I would recommend them to anyone with military experience.

In my estimation, what sets Orion apart from the competition is their willingness to tailor your career search to your needs. My uncompromising desire to live and work in the Chicago area was unacceptable to other military recruiters. The Orion recruiters also understand exactly how your military service relates to the civilian career search, because they are also former military who once made the same transition you are about to.

Orion, According to Your Peers

“I have been at my new job since August 2008 and love it. Orion was ‘spot on’ when they matched me with them. I was telling my wife the other day that it seems like every day I go to work, I come home more excited that I took this job. That's very unusual! Thanks again and again.

When I first approached Orion about attending a hiring conference, I'd already been working in the civilian market for six or seven years after leaving the military. Although I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do next, I did have rather specific geographic preferences. Landing this job for me involved a real team effort from Orion.

Rob Gumpper was very patient with me. He did a great job finding opportunities that matched my skill sets, experience, and career goals. Mike Starich's feedback and coaching before and after my initial interviews boosted my confidence. And, finally, during the second interview process, Ed Voelsing worked behind the scenes and was very instrumental in helping close the deal for me. Thank you to Chris Demmons, as well, and the whole Orion team!”

– Michael Baloy, Sales Engineer

“I left the Navy as a Lieutenant after seven years commissioned and have worked in retail management for the past ten years. I recently decided it was time to look for a new job. Through Orion International, I was hired as a Developmental Store Manager for Wal-Mart. Ultimately, I hope to advance my career with the company, but this is an excellent entry into the world's largest retailer.

Everyone at Orion was extremely helpful and responsive. I believe that Orion really wanted me to be happy. In fact, I received more one-on-one attention through this process than I did several years ago with another recruiting agency. Michele Zambrano did a fantastic job throughout the interview process, brought me up to speed on the details and helped me feel comfortable with the process, even when flight delays caused last minute changes in my interview process.”

- Carmen Campbell, Developmental Store Manager


“My Orion recruiter was JP Sniffen, and he was wonderful. He kept in constant communication with me throughout the entire process and made numerous suggestions through some of his personnel in the San Diego office.


Mangan, my new employer, is a great company, and everyone here is excited to be here. We all look forward to working on a daily basis. My Orion experience was great!”

- John Flaherty, Control Systems Engineer

“Orion went above and beyond. There were several opportunities that I was presented with at the time, and I looked into all of them. I would have been happy with most of them, but I truly love it here at Oxy. I am working for a company I really like, and I do a job that I love. I make great money, and I receive a much higher compensation here than at my last job. Thanks, Orion.”

- Reginald Hodges, Drill Site Manage

“I want to extend my gratitude for Orion International’s assistance in placing me with a top-notch company. They matched me with precisely the type of organization and position that I wanted to work in when transitioning from active military to corporate civilian. As I approach my one-year anniversary with St. Jude Medical, Inc., I could not be happier. I'm excited about my current job and future possibilities within St. Jude Medical.”

- Jacen Caldwell, Sales Operation Specialist

“Orion International is heads and shoulders above the rest! I was working with two other recruiting agencies when I began to work with Orion. Orion kept in contact with me several times a week and was constantly emailing me job opportunities that matched my preferences. This is something that other firms only did sporadically, if at all. My Orion recruiter was Mike Wood. Out of the dozen or so recruiters that I have worked with at other agencies over the last two months, Mike was the only one that took my request to be in New England seriously. Mike worked with me a lot outside of the typical hiring process because of my location in Oklahoma and my request to end up in the Northeast.

In the end, it was a hiring event with Wal-Mart in Philadelphia that helped me land my job. Mike and Michele Zambrano prepared me with about 30 sample questions that the interviewers might ask. They also held a Webinar to discuss the position and keys to success in the interview. During the interview, every question asked had already been given to me by Michele.

Thanks to that hiring event, I will be a Developmental Store Manager at Wal-Mart. In terms of location, responsibility and pay, it is far beyond anything I ever expected coming out of the Army after only three years.”

– Ty Hapworth, Developmental Store Manager


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