The Hunter for Military Officers - October 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TIME Magazine Names Veterans the New Greatest Generation,
Hiring Conferences Explained,
Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Upcoming Base Visits,
Orion Spotlight,
Job Seeker Success Story,
Operations Leadership and Engineering Careers with Honeywell,
According to your Peers,
Career Opportunities within Orion,
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion,
Companies Recently Hiring,
Connect with Orion Online

TIME Magazine Names Veterans the New Greatest Generation

In the August 29 issue of TIME Magazine, author Joe Klein names veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan the new ‘Greatest Generation.’ And while Klein focuses mainly on veterans in public service, the examples he provides also speak volumes about how this generation of veterans can and will affect change in corporate America.

Klein points out that many returning veterans choose to continue to serve their country by serving other veterans. These include John Gallina and Dale Beatty, both service-injured veterans, who started Purple Heart Homes, an organization that does handicapped-access projects for veterans; and Jake Wood and William McNulty, Marine Sergeants, who started Team Rubicon, which sends teams of former non-commissioned officers into disaster areas to organize logistics.

Other veterans choose public service in the form of political office and often return to school for graduate degrees. Dr. Elaine Kamarck of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government teaches some of these veterans and says of them, “Two things set them apart: they’re very disciplined, and they’re really, really serious about their work.”

Kamarck illustrates exactly what it is about veterans that makes them so appealing to corporate America; and Klein mentions Siemens and their initiative to make 10% of all new hires veterans. (Siemens has partnered with Orion in order to achieve this goal.) Klein continues on this point by writing that “returning veterans are bringing skills that seem to be on the wane in American society, qualities we really need now: crisp decision-making, rigor, optimism, entrepreneurial creativity, a larger sense of purpose, and real patriotism…Indeed, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required a new military skill set, far more sophisticated than for previous conflicts.”

And while the military community is lamenting the loss of some of its best young leaders to civilian transition, Klein points out that their loss is civilian America’s gain. General David Petraeus explains, “[These soldiers] have had to show incredible flexibility, never knowing whether they’re going to be greeted with a handshake or a grenade…I believe they are our next greatest generation of leaders.”

Klein gives the example of Seth Moulton. Given only a short time to come up with a business plan for an iPhone application that he had developed for doctors in Haiti after the earthquake, Moulton utilized an important skill he could have only learned in the military, the SMESC. Klein explains that the acronym stands for Situation, Mission, Execution, Support, and Command. Using SMESC, Moulton was able to come up with an impressive plan to present to the United Nations. When asked if he credited this skill to his Harvard education, Moulton replied, “Harvard Business School! I learned how to that in the United States Marines.”

Klein’s article highlights veterans and the skills that set them apart from their civilian counterparts. These skills are being applied to non-profits, public service, and civilian careers with zeal by veterans eager to make a difference. Orion believes deeply in these values and skills and is proud to assist America’s New Greatest Generation in finding rewarding civilian careers.

Click here to read the article.

Hiring Conferences Explained

Bob Berkholz, a Senior Partner with Orion and former Marine Corps Officer, provided some insight into what goes on at Orion Hiring Conferences in an article on by Ho Lin titled “The Skinny on Hiring Conferences”. Berkholz explains what it is about Hiring Conferences that behooves the candidates in comparison to other types of events and goes on to detail what candidates can expect at a conference.

He starts by defining a hiring conference and contrasting it with the ubiquitous career fair. Hiring conferences are planned events where both the candidates and hiring companies are pre-selected and matched and are brought together to interview. At a career fair, points out Berkholz, “you see people lined up around the block to visit and drop resumes off, while the hiring conferences that we run are by invitation, where we match up the right kind of candidates with the right kind of companies.” Another benefit to attending a hiring conference over a career fair is the tremendous hit rate for follow-up interviews. For example, a conference with 50 Officers interviewing with 25 companies could see as many as 42 of those Officers being called for a follow-up interview. The reason behind this statistic is that the candidates in question were pre-screened for the jobs for which they interviewed.

So what goes on at these conferences? To start, Berkholz explains that they are two-day events, with the first day dedicated solely to interview preparation. Formal interviews take place on the second day. These usually run about 45 minutes each, and candidates have multiple interviews. Thanks to the design of a hiring conference, hiring managers come pre-armed with follow-up interview plans, so they can jump into action when they interview a candidate that is a great fit for them. Therefore, follow-up and on-site interviews, as well as offers, usually happen within two weeks of the initial interview.

For many people transitioning out of the military, a Hiring Conference will be their first encounter with Corporate America, interviews, and resumes. For this reason, Berkholz asks “when they begin their terminal leave, as opposed to when their last day of active duty pay is, and when I have their day of terminal leave I back that up by about 90 days. That's the window where I want to get them into a hiring conference.” During this time, he coaches them on all aspects of their transition to a civilian career.

Hiring Conferences are an effective career search tool, as evidenced by the fact that as many as 20% of the hiring managers in attendance are Orion placements. The accelerated response time offered at a hiring conference is a much more efficient method of career placement than sending out hundreds of resumes in hopes of getting two or three responses. “Orion is well entrenched right now, with so much military talent being introduced over the past 20 years, that a lot of these corporations understand what a veteran can do, but if they don't,” says Berkholz, “we help coach the corporation – the HR manager, the plant manager – on the talents a veteran can transition over, and I can tell you that corporations have been very receptive to supporting our veterans.”

Click here to read the article.

Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars

Whether you have two years or two weeks before you transition from Active Duty, there are many steps you can take prior to your separation date that will position you for success as you transition into the civilian workforce. Our Military Officer Transition Program is designed to put your preparation "things to do list" into a logical sequence that you can complete as you approach your separation.  Our goal is to minimize the stress you may have about changing careers by giving you all the tools you need to be 100% ready to interview before you enter into the 90-day window leading up to your terminal leave.

You will receive a monthly email from us guiding you to a suggested webinar, reading, or activity for that month.  These emails will be sent based on your Earliest Start Date in our records.   If your timeline changes, be sure to let us know so we can update our records! Update your Earliest Start Date and other contact information by logging in here.


All of the training materials included in the program are organized and accessible on our Military Officer Transition Program webpage. To get started, please visit and review our Transition Program Timeline, and note where you fall in our suggested timeline. 


In addition, we’d like to invite you to register for our upcoming webinars:


Career Transition Seminar
This webinar is designed to be one of your very first steps in preparing for your transition into the civilian workplace. Learn about current job market conditions, and the industries and positions in which transitioning Military Officers typically excel. Get tips and advice about your transition, steps you can take to make yourself most marketable, and the best timeline for finding your civilian career.


September 27, 2011
8:00 pm EST - Register Now


Resume Writing Seminar
This webinar will cover all the basics of resume writing – why a resume is so important, what you should and shouldn’t include, how to write a resume that is easily understood by a civilian hiring manager, and much more.


October 26, 2011

8:00 pm EST – Register Now


Interview Preparation Seminar
This webinar will cover all the basics of Interview Preparation – how and what you should prepare, do’s and don’ts during any interview, practical assignments to help guide you, and much more.


September 29, 2011
7:00 pm EST - Register Now


Space is limited, so sign up today!


Please do not hesitate to call or email your recruiter at any time if you have questions or concerns about your transition. We are here to assist you in any way possible.

Upcoming Hiring Conferences

If you will be separating from the military and preparing to begin your civilian career within the next 90 days, be sure to attend one of our hiring conferences. After a full day of preparation, you’ll interview with hiring authorities for only those positions that are a match with your needs and preferences.

Click on any of the conference locations to request more information on the conference you’d like to attend!

Norfolk, VA
Fishkill, NY
Chicago, IL

October 16 - 17


Atlanta, GA

October 23 - 24

South Central  
Dallas, TX
San Diego, CA
Seattle, WA

Upcoming Base Visits

When our Recruiters visit a location near you, it’s a chance to get a jump start on your career search, regardless of your ETS date. Our Recruiters will discuss your goals and preferences with you and present a realistic picture of what to expect in your search. You’ll get resume advice, interview preparation tips, and much more!  Click here or on any of the base visits to receive more information about the base visit you are interested in attending.

Ft. Campbell

San Diego


Ft. Drum

San Diego

San Diego

September 27 - 28

September 30

October 6 - 7

October 12 - 13

October 14

October 28

Orion Spotlight

Amy Donsbach

Amy was born and raised in Austin, TX, and began her Office Manager/Recruiter Production Assistant position at Orion International just a few days after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2008. She pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Sciences while working full-time at first in Childcare and then as a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician during her last year in college. Her attention to detail, coupled with a strong desire to help others, landed her a job as a Production Assistant to the South Central JMO Recruiting Manager at Orion where she has helped form a strong team for almost three-and-a-half years.

Being family oriented, Amy is happy to be surrounded by many family members, including her parents, sister, and brother-in-law. She loves taking advantage of Austin’s vast live music scene. Amy also frequents the trails around town to fulfill her passion for running and fitness.  

If you could give just one piece of advice to a transitioning military professional on how to best utilize Orion’s services, what would it be?

My advice is to keep your communication stream open. Always be up front and honest and keep an open mind. Too many opportunities can be passed up by not following those guidelines. Prepare for your transition process as early as possible. There is no harm in starting a resume and interview preparation early on, as they can be updated and fine-tuned over time.

What do you like most about working at Orion?

Although I did not serve in the military, I hold the utmost respect for those who have served. Therefore, what I like most about working at Orion is giving back to those who have served our country. I also enjoy working alongside many veterans. I believe it has taught me a lot about work ethic, respect, and has vastly increased my knowledge of the many aspects of the military.

Please share one interesting fact that you would like candidates to know.

I am musical and come from a musically talented family. I enjoy playing the guitar in my free time.

Connect with Amy:
800-336-7466 x. 411


Job Seeker Success Story

Justin Fortinberry, Assistant Plant Manager
Illinois Institute of Technology, 2004

I was an Aircraft Maintenance Officer in the U.S. Air Force and separated as a Captain.  The skills imparted to me by the Air Force are invaluable. The leadership opportunities I was given are unparalleled in the civilian world for something of comparable responsibility and scope given my experience level. My background prepared me perfectly for my transition to the private sector, as the skills and technical aptitude I learned as a Maintenance Officer translate to a myriad of manufacturing and industrial services careers.  I will always look back on my military service with fondness but am excited to take the next step and write a new chapter.

My Orion recruiter, Todd Phillips, was amazing. He managed my expectations, asked all the right questions, and matched me perfectly to several companies. He took every one of my needs into consideration and met them or exceeded them in every way. Todd never tried to sell me on something he knew wasn't what I was looking for—he took the time to match me to not only one, but several well tailored opportunities.

I attended a Chicago hiring conference. It was intense, but great. I completed six interviews with very well matched companies to my personal goals and desires for my civilian career. The preparation was thorough, and I felt completely at ease going into the interviews. The interviews all went very well, thanks to Orion's preparation. It was a first-class event.

Orion exceeded my needs in every possible way. I have since recommended Orion to many fellow CGOs. It is amazing how easy Orion made the process, and how painless Orion has made my transition.   On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the ease of my transition with Orion a 10.  I was expecting headaches, long searches, and potentially "settling" for something less than I wanted when I made the decision to separate, all of which turned out not to be the case.  I had options and choices thanks to Orion—all of them good. What a great problem to have, especially in this economy! Thanks to Orion, I now know I made the right decision.  The apprehension and uneasiness has melted away, and the future looks bright.

Operations Leadership and Engineering Careers with Honeywell

Orion is currently recruiting for a large volume of Operations Leadership and Engineering positions for Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, AZ. In March 2011, Honeywell was selected as one of the ‘Most Admired Companies’ in the world by Fortune Magazine, and for the fourth consecutive year was ranked in the top 5 companies in the Aerospace and Defense Industry. Honeywell employs approximately 130,000 people worldwide, including 58,000 in the United States, and has launched a new initiative to hire a large number of veterans through Orion throughout 2011 and 2012.

Positions include Production Manager; Assembly and Test Supervisor; Distribution Center Supervisor; Health, Safety and Environmental Engineer; Quality Assurance Engineer; Controls Engineer; Project Engineer; Engineering Manager, as well as many others.

Salary: The starting salary varies for these positions, depending on the position level for which you are hired; the typical range is $65,000 - $80,000+, plus an excellent benefits package.


For Engineering positions:

  • Transitioning and former Military Officers
  • Bachelors degree in Engineering or a related technical field
  • Project management experience and/or a technical Masters degree are preferred

For Operations positions:

  • Transitioning and former Officers
  • Bachelors degree in Business, Supply Chain, Science, Finance, or a related discipline
  • Minimum of 5 years of operations and leadership experience
  • MBA or Advanced Degree is desired for some positions
  • Six Sigma or Lean Certification is a plus
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

We will be holding interviews in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 6th and 7th. If selected to interview, your travel and lodging will be paid. To be considered for this event, please apply before September 23, 2011. If you are not able to interview on October 6th & 7th but are interested in being considered for a career with Honeywell, please let us know.

Click here to learn more or to apply.

According to your Peers

JP Sniffen and Jim Perdue treated me very well. They did a good job of listening to my needs and did not try to push me into attending interviews that didn’t fit my background or job requirements. I also found the interview preparation primers to be extremely valuable, and they definitely made a difference in how I approached the interviews.” – Jacob Keniston, Product Manufacturing Engineer

“I originally secured a position in Texas through Orion in 1998.  Then, in February 2010, I decided to look for a new opportunity and started to search for a new career on my own.  I searched high and low, utilized the outplacement firm that was provided through my former employer, and attended multiple networking meetings, events, etc.  I connected with retained and freelance recruiters across the US.  I targeted USA jobs, but I even applied for opportunities for positions in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I also had a distant third cousin who worked in the HR department of a Fortune 100 company.  Let me just say that even with family connections, nothing was moving.  I have an excel spreadsheet of career leads I was following the length of Santa Clause's annual gift list!

So when I turned to Orion, I realized that their reputation stands tall amongst the corporate sector.  It was evident from the multiple high caliber companies that came to the Distinguished Candidate Conferences I attended in Baltimore and Chicago.  Chris Hurst did an outstanding job in continuing to help me and connect me with the DCCs, online support, auxiliary support personnel, etc. I hope that other quality officers will see the benefits of working with a stellar placement firm like Orion.” – Steven Dyer, Customer Operations Manager

“Orion far exceeded my expectations and surpasses the competition.  I had been working with various other recruiting agencies during this time, and Orion really stood out. This was mainly because my Orion recruiter, Todd Phillips, really listened to what I wanted and catered the opportunities presented to me to that.

The variety of companies that Orion presents speaks for itself, but what really makes Orion stand out over the competition are their conferences.  The hiring conference I attended was very well organized. The best part of the hiring conference was when the hiring companies actually came in to brief us about what they are looking for.  The mixer was also a great opportunity to socialize with those companies that interest you. I would definitely recommend Orion to anyone transitioning out of the military.” – Tony Beavers, Engineer Level 2

“One of my favorite attributes about Orion is the 'let's make this happen' attitude.  Orion gets the ball rolling quickly and doesn't waste any time. They definitely opened up many opportunities for me. Additionally, JP Sniffen treated me professionally and accommodated for all my needs and wants.” – Sung Park, Store Manager

“My Orion recruiter was Todd Phillips. He took great care to make sure that he understood my capabilities and interests, as well as my concerns with entering the private sector as a disabled veteran.   Orion was very good to me. They had me participate in several mock interviews, both phone and face-to-face before I participated in a Distinguished Candidate Conference. I was asked for several additional interviews after that conference, one that became my dream job!

Interestingly, it was through the social event during the conference that I got the interview for my future position as a Research Engineer with AMCOL International. I didn’t even feel I was qualified for it, but I had a couple great conversations with the representatives and was offered an interview. Four weeks later, I was selected for a position I never thought I could ever have a chance at getting.

I was unemployed for almost a year and couldn’t seem to get interviews. I was running out of savings, my family was having financial issues, and we had no health insurance. With the Orion DCC alone, I had nine interviews and six call backs for additional interviews, four of which were on-site. My new position is one I am proud to accept. Orion believed in me and gave me the opportunity to attain an honorable, fascinating, meaningful position with a great company.” – Sara Drane, Research Engineer

“Orion set me up for success with companies looking for my specific leadership abilities and engineering skills.  Personally, I would highly recommend a hiring conference; all of the hard work and preparation definitely paid off in the end. I interviewed with seven companies and four of them wanted to schedule follow-ups within three days.  For the first time I felt like companies were begging me to work for them, instead of me begging them.

Orion gave me the right tools and ability to secure a position with Firestone making 10% more than what I was asking for. I wish I had heard about Orion two years earlier instead of trying to trek through the hiring world on my own. Then I could have been hired in 2009 instead of 2011.  It is a great feeling knowing that I am starting a new career with excellent potential to grow and to be able to support my family and give them the life they deserve.” – Britton Bowers, Staff Engineer

“Thank you, Orion!  I appreciate all the help and support that I have received from Chris Hurst and everyone else at Orion. Chris was great!  He listened to my specific requirements and worked to meet my set of criteria. Orion met my needs at every step in the process. The Orion process worked very efficiently with no problems, and I really benefited from the training held during the first day of the conference. Thank you for offering the service you do.” – Luis Martinez, Store Manager-in-Training

“I would highly recommend Orion to anyone thinking about leaving the military and looking for help in their transition. Every employee I encountered was very patient, helpful, and willing to go the extra mile to produce results. What really set Orion apart from their competitors was their ability to follow through on their promises and always ensure you had every piece of available information before walking into any situation.” - Cody Hughes, Power Plant Supervisor

JP Sniffen was my Orion recruiter, and the service was great. I felt like he considered the type of job I wanted when selecting interviews at the hiring conference, instead of just signing me up for as many interviews as possible, which happened at another hiring firm's conference. I found that the attention given to the job seeker by Orion, as well as the diversity of jobs, was much better than the competition.” – Will Archer, Materials Planner

Chris Hurst was great, and I would not change a thing. I recommend Orion to all my friends getting out of the military.” - Brian Beckelman, Manufacturing Supervisor

“I followed the interview preparation guidance on Orion’s website, which was very helpful. Those interviews led to my new position as a Regional Service Manager with Encon. It is a management position and is in many ways similar to the responsibilities I had as a Lieutenant in the Navy. My Orion experience was great!” - Dmitry Rukhlin, Regional Service Manager

Career Opportunities within Orion

Account Executives

Orion International is currently seeking transitioning or former military officers with a strong record of achievement to join our Sales Team as an Account Executive. We are hiring for our San Diego, CA, and Raleigh, NC, offices.

As an Account Executive, you will be responsible for creating relationships with America’s leading companies through development of leads lists, business development calls, and client presentations. The work you do will help fellow veterans transition into the civilian workforce.

To qualify, you should have military experience, a Bachelors degree, and previous sales experience or a desire to succeed in sales. Click here to learn more about joining the Orion team.

Marine Corps Officer Recruiter

Orion is also seeking a Marine Corps Officer Recruiter to work in our San Diego, CA, office. In this position, you will work with Marine Corps Officers exiting the military and identify those who have the skills and abilities our clients are looking for. In addition to sourcing, screening, and matching candidates for opportunities based on a variety of qualifications, you will work with candidates through the Orion pipeline, from sourcing, to acceptance of a job offer, and after they begin their new position. You will also travel to different military installations in your territory interviewing potential candidates, as well as to hiring conferences sponsored by Orion International.

To qualify, you must be a Marine Corps Officer. Click here to learn more about joining the Orion team.

Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion

Did you know that Orion candidates have already earned $2100 in referral bonuses in 2011?

For every job seeker you refer to us who is subsequently placed by Orion, we will give you a $100 gift card to a retailer of your choice!

It's simple - just click here to refer a friend.

30 seconds of your time could be $100 in your pocket!

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