The Hunter for Military Officers - November 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Industry Spotlight: Medical Device,
Where are They Now? David Gentile,
Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Upcoming Base Visits,
Job Seeker Success Story,
According to your Peers,
Overseas Positions Available through Orion,
Careers with Honeywell,
Career Opportunities within Orion,
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion,
Companies Recently Hiring,
Connect with Orion Online

Industry Spotlight: Medical Device

A recent article on spotlighting Orion alumnus Brian Schulz and his position in the Medical Device industry draws attention to an expanding industry that appears to be weathering a down economy well. In the article, From S-3 Vikings to Medical Devices, Schulz discusses how his roles as a Naval Lieutenant and flight officer relate to his current role as a Spine Consultant with Medtronic Spine and Biologics. Schulz is just one of many veterans who are finding success in the Medical Device industry through Orion International.

According to Hoovers, the United States medical device industry includes about 11,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $85 billion. Top companies in this field include Siemens Healthcare, BD Medical, Baxter International, Medtronic, and Boston Scientific, all of which utilize Orion International to hire top military talent for their sales, field service, management, engineering, and technical positions. A September 2011 Medical Device Stock Outlook on recently discussed the growth opportunities that will keep this industry growing at a vigorous rate. Factors include an aging Baby Boomer population, high unmet medical needs, and increased incidence of lifestyle diseases. With growth factors and figures like those, it stands to reason that this industry should not be overlooked by transitioning veterans.

“We walk into our first squadron, platoon or ship when we’re 22 or 23 years old and we immediately get leadership experience,” Schulz tells of how his military skills relate to his civilian career, “Most people don't get the opportunity to manage until they're in their late twenties or early thirties. We get management and leadership experience at a very early age, and we get to utilize that over our full term of service.” That experience has served Schulz well as he has now been with Medtronic for four years and is responsible for his own territory in Montana. Schulz adds that his understanding of communication up and down the chain of command has helped tremendously with his career. “In the military, we’re very aware of keeping our leadership informed and keeping those who we are responsible for informed of what’s going on, and it’s been very beneficial in my current role,” explains Schulz.

Orion has found medical device careers for officers in positions including Sales, Engineering, and Production Management. Salaries in this field range from $60,000 all the way up to $100,000 plus for those in Sales.

Brian Davis, an Army Captain, has settled into this industry as a Manufacturing / Production Manager for BD Medical. “Of all the positions I held while in the military,” says Davis, “I will apply my skills I acquired while serving as an Assistant Operations Officer to my new position as a Manufacturing/Production Manager for BD Medical. As an Ops Officer, I learned how to lead teams that would routinely go above and beyond expectations. I learned how to motivate team members to accomplish the mission and learned that as a Leader it was my responsible to ensure the morale remained high throughout the project.”

Naval Flight Officer Jonathan Lyman echoes this sentiment. He believes that his Service Area Manager position with Hitachi Medical Systems America is a great fit for his prior military experience, making good use of his experience with management of personnel, as well as his technical aptitude.

Medical Device has consistently ranked in top ten industries in which Orion places veterans. In fact, Orion has placed more than 2500 veterans into the industry since 1991. Schulz’s success, coupled with that of the many other veterans throughout an expanding industry, reveals an attractive career path that veterans may want to consider when planning their civilian transition.

Where are They Now? David Gentile

Orion is continuing its 20th anniversary celebration this month by featuring another one of our early placements, David Gentile.  After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1988 and completing Nuclear Power School, Nuclear Prototype Training and Submarine School, Gentile spent the next three-and-a-half years as a Nuclear/Submarine Qualified Division Officer aboard USS Baltimore (SSN-704), a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine based in Norfolk, VA. When it came time for Gentile to transition out of the Navy, he followed his fellow JMOs advice and began to work with Orion International. He was subsequently placed with International Paper as a Plant/Manufacturing Engineer by Orion in 1993.

Aside from word of mouth, Gentile recalls that he chose Orion because when he was transitioning “there were fewer JMO recruiters, and a lot of them insisted on exclusivity. They would work with you only if you would commit only to use them to find a job.” Gentile says that he found Orion to be much easier to work with. 

Gentile obtained his job with International Paper through a Mini-Conference® held at their Memphis corporate headquarters. He was one of about 15 JMOs interviewing for positions in International Paper’s manufacturing facilities within the corrugated container division in the United States. It was the combination of salary and location with a big name company that attracted Gentile to this position in the management training program.  “In a very short time there, I got incredible exposure to all aspects of manufacturing operations,” says Gentile.

Since his initial position outside of the military, Gentile’s career has shifted from manufacturing operations to wireless/software service management. After 18 months with International Paper, Gentile took his “invaluable experience” gained, and parlayed that into a Production Manager role with Brown & Williamson Tobacco. He was at Brown & Williamson for about three years before deciding to take a Plant Manager position with Seaward International. The role at Seaward turned out to be much more than a Plant Manager role, however, and Gentile gained experience in Sales, as well. While at Seaward, he attended George Washington University and received his MBA. 

After graduating from GWU, Gentile made the jump into the high-tech field and took a Program Management position at a wireless IT startup in Northern Virginia named Ztango. “What on paper looked like a step backwards, actually ended up being a great decision. There, my leadership and management skills served me well, as I developed the reputation for being able to get complex revenue generating services launched quickly and profitably,” explains Gentile, “Even though the IT bubble burst about nine months after I got to Ztango, I was one of ten people of the original 150 that survived and built the company up that was subsequently acquired by a South Korean company (WiderThan) and later by Real Networks.”

Eleven years later, Gentile is still with Real Networks and is now the AVP – Service Management, responsible for all services to wireless carrier customers in the US. He has a team of about 40 employees and an annual revenue stream of about $50MM. “In my current role, I am effectively the CEO for my part of the organization with P&L responsibility and a large amount of autonomy. I’m looking to translate that into a COO or CEO role in a technology firm hopefully in my not too distant future,” says Gentile of his future plans.

Gentile credits not only the leadership and management skills he obtained in the Navy, but also his ability to confront any challenge head-on with his success in his career. “There were no challenges in industry that came anywhere close to the pressure and intensity of submarine and nuclear power operations. I always seemed to be the calm in the storm,” says Gentile. He also points out that the frequency with which he changed duty in the Navy prepared him well for increasing responsibility in his civilian career.

“I learned that you had to build upon what you knew and then question everything else,” explains Gentile, “This served me incredibly well when I moved from traditional manufacturing to wireless IT with Ztango. When I got to Ztango, everyone other than me had an IT background or a wireless communications background or both. I had neither, yet I was effective. My effectiveness came from my strength as a leader and my willingness to admit what I didn’t know and quickly learn from there.”

During his time at Real Networks, Gentile has hired three JMOs, each of which was a USNA graduate. All three were well-regarded and effective in their roles. Gentile suggests that other hiring managers value veterans for more than just their directly transferable skills. “Subject knowledge can be easily taught. Instead, value veterans for the qualities that are critically important in industry today, including integrity, aptitude, and strong and effective leadership and management skills,” advises Gentile.

As for transitioning veterans, Gentile has three pieces of advice. First, he suggests not jumping too quickly on the first opportunity to come along, as it may not be the best fit. He also suggests that the best job for them may be the one where the prospective employer seems to value veterans the most. And, finally, Gentile says not to be afraid to try new things and to volunteer or accept new challenges. “I have found in my own experiences that I was sometimes promoted and even survived the two acquisitions because of additional skills that I possessed or experiences that I had that started out by my volunteering or taking on a new assignment,” explains Gentile.

David Gentile’s career path reveals the flexibility and wide-ranging skill set that veterans bring with them to a civilian position. From our earliest placements like Gentile to our very latest placement 23,000 veterans and 20 years later, Orion continues to herald the value of veterans and is proud to represent them in their career transition.

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.


October 25, 2011
7:00 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

7:00 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.


October 27, 2011
8:00 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!


Fishkill, NY

Norfolk, VA

November 13 - 14

December 4 - 5


Cincinnati, OH

December 4 - 5


Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

October 23 - 24

December 4 - 5

South Central  

Houston, TX

December 4 - 5


Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

November 6 - 7

December 8 - 9

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. Bragg

San Diego


Ft. Riley

Ft. Stewart/HAF

San Diego

October 26 - 27

October 28

November 5

November 7 - 8

November 16 - 17

November 18


Job Seeker Success Story

Katie Laundon, Operations Manager
Virginia Tech, 1995

I was a LCDR (O-4) Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. SWOs are trained to become experts in leadership and management while learning new missions and leading new teams every 18-36 months. It made me good at walking into a new environment and quickly learning the language and processes, so I could effectively lead the team and benefit the overall mission by finding better ways to do business and making the team more effective.

I worked with three recruiters at Orion. I initially met Karin Roberts at a base visit out in San Diego just before Memorial Day. She introduced me to the process and screened me as a candidate. She knew I was heading east as soon as my separation was final, so she immediately got me into the system for the Chicago DCC in July. She introduced me to Todd Phillips who was coordinating the DCC. Todd took the time to listen to what my priorities were and did his best to find good interview matches for me.

I spent the most time with Mike Wood in my specific preparations for the conference both on-line and in the small group sessions leading up to my interviews. Additionally, he advised me both during the conference and while I was in my second-interview phase. Todd was also very communicative during the second interview phase and helped me through the protocols of talking with multiple companies. Overall, the team of recruiters I worked with was very personable and passionate about their jobs.

My hiring process moved very quickly. In the six weeks between my initial meeting with Karin and the Chicago DCC, I attended three Orion webinars and talked with Todd about what I was looking for. I was initially scheduled for two interviews at the DCC, but during the social I began discussions with other companies that led to a third interview at the conference and an invitation to interview on-site with another company after the conference. From the three interviews I had at the DCC, I received invitations from two of the companies for an additional interview and ended up accepting a position with one of them. Within a month of the DCC, I have a job that I'm very excited about.

Had I not gone to the DCC, I would never have thought to apply for the position that I am holding as an Operations Manager at AMCOL's Health and Beauty Solutions plant. Orion facilitated the conversations that needed to take place for the match to be made. I had never interviewed for a job in my life prior to the DCC, and the information, advice, and encouragement that I received throughout the Orion preparation process was very effective.

I think that it is great to have a company like Orion that exclusively matches former military with good companies. The fact that Orion has laid the groundwork with the companies as far as the benefits of taking a chance on someone who has never been directly involved in their industry makes a huge difference. I could tell that the hiring managers were ready to look for the transferable skills that matched their needs rather than toss aside a resume/candidate because it didn't read like their specific position description. The hiring conferences are a very efficient way of getting hiring managers and job seekers together. I think all parties benefit considerably from that part of the process.

According to your Peers


Chris Hurst was my Orion recruiter, and he was excellent at matching me with positions that fit my needs and skill set. The Orion staff was excellent about explaining what the companies at their hiring conference were looking for and helping formulate an approach to the interviews.

Thanks to an Orion hiring conference, I am now a Distribution Center Supervisor for TJX Companies.  My new role closely matches a division officer role in the Navy.  I am responsible for supervising 26 people and ensuring the distribution center meets its goals.  My military experience has helped me excel in this new role, and, at only eight weeks in, I am already slated to take over the largest area in the distribution center.  

Orion exceeded my needs in every way.  I understand that the hiring companies are the ones paying Orion for their service, but it felt like the service members needs were the priority. Compared to a traditional job search, Orion was without equal.  From resume feedback and interview prep, it would have cost thousands of dollars to have the equivalent service from traditional job search companies and consultants.  

I am extremely grateful for Orion.  Through Orion I was able to start a career in the logistics field in a company with a great culture.  Orion was able to sell the company on the added value of a JMO and obtain a higher than average salary. I have been singing the praises of Orion to all of my fellow veterans.” - Manuel Sousa, Distribution Center Supervisor

“I participated in two DCCs with Orion and interviewed with about 15 companies—pretty darn amazing for two days out of my life!” – Rollo Begley, Inventory Management

“Orion more than met my job-seeking needs. Not only did I land a job with more opportunity than I had ever imagined, but I immediately turned around and informed my peers that the Orion conferences are hands-down the best venue for JMOs to land a new career. Orion will definitely be my first phone call should I ever even think about looking for a new job.” - Mark Haag, Medical Device Sales

“Orion did an outstanding job matching my criteria and my skill sets.  I truly could not have asked for more from Orion! They are head and shoulders above other recruiting agencies.  At the end of the day, I went with Orion because they took the time to invest in me and were more interested in finding the right match than throwing their candidates into any old job. That is also why I recommend Orion. I really can't speak highly enough about Orion.  They genuinely are the ‘good guys’ of professional recruiting.  

Orion doesn’t simply get you in an interview; they take the time to match you with the right company in order to create a win-win arrangement.  They also provide invaluable interview training and follow through to set the stage for a successful hiring process.  I really don't know what I would have done without Orion, and I definitely recommend them to my fellow service members.” - John Vosnos, Assistant Director of Admissions

Mike Wood demonstrated the level of integrity I expect from a former service member and a business professional. His understanding of private industry markets and how they relate to military and government service proved invaluable in my transition from an Army Special Forces Officer to a private sector business operations leader in a wholly owned subsidiary of Michelin. Mike's timeliness and work ethic are most commendable.” - Peder Weierholt, General Manager

Mike Wood and Orion provided the best assistance in helping me find a civilian job as I transitioned out of the military. The hiring conferences, particularly the group practice interviews, were a huge help. Mike and other members of the Orion team were with me every step of the way, from initial interviews all the way through accepting the offer. I highly recommend Orion to anyone transitioning out of the military seeking a job in corporate America.” - Scarlett Collins, Process Engineer & Buyer

“I tried for a while to ‘work my network’, but I just couldn’t make any movement. I had two major obstacles to overcome—I had never had a civilian job and had been out of the work force for several years post MBA. Orion presented me to their clients who wanted to fill positions immediately, and my obstacles ended up being very minor issues in my interviews.

I am now a Sales Manager with Aero Precision Industries, and I feel that my background as a Supply Corps Lieutenant (selected for Lieutenant Commander) in the Navy was vital for this position. Working in the world of spare and repair parts, people leadership, strategy position, and with high-level military and government officials made me a natural for this position.

Orion helped me start my civilian career in seven weeks from first phone call to STARTING my new position. JP Sniffen, my Orion recruiter, was great. He listened to what I wanted. I felt like we worked together and nothing was ‘pushed’ on me. Orion was wonderful.” - Brie Cedars, Sales Manager

“Through Mike Wood’s expertise and hard work, I was able to interview and hire with a great Fortune 500 company and transition straight from military service into civilian life. Mike is a diligent and personable recruiter who goes out of his way to find the perfect fit for all his clients. I recommend Mike and Orion over all other military recruiting firms.” - Jonathan Sunderwirth, Field Engineer

“Orion far surpassed other recruiting firms in terms of professionalism and personal treatment.” – Kevin McCollough, Production Supervisor

JP Sniffen did a great job, much better than my recruiter at another recruiting firm.  He was responsive and supportive of my desires. Having worked directly with the other firm for five months, the difference between that firm and Orion is night and day.” – David Buck, Engineer II

Karin Roberts was my recruiter, and I feel that I was treated in a very respectful and professional manner.  Karin was excellent in helping me transition as an enlisted service member with a degree and making me competitive against Commissioned Officers. 

I will be a Service Sales Representative for ACCO Engineering Systems beginning in October 2011.  Ultimately, I believe my ability to manage time, follow up and complete tasks, as well as manage stress in order to meet deadlines are foreseeable parallels between this position and my former one as a Hospital Corpsman Second Class in the Navy. 

Orion definitely met my needs, and I would strongly recommend them to anyone who is transitioning out of the military.” – James Sylvester, Service Sales Representative

Overseas Positions Available through Orion

Orion is currently recruiting for several overseas positions, including roles in Afghanistan and Egypt. If you have either a logistics or intelligence background and are interested in learning more about these positions, please email

Careers with Honeywell


Orion International is currently hiring for many positions Nationwide for Honeywell Aerospace. 
Position types available:

  • Global and Materials Planners
  • Procurement/Sourcing/Commodity Directors
  • Inventory Leaders
  • Integrated Supply Chain Supervisors
  • Production Planners
  • Site Supply Specialists
  • Materials Managers  


  • Military veterans with a bachelors degree in business, supply chain, operations, science, finance, or a related discipline
  • MBA or advanced degree desired for some positions
  • 6 sigma certification (Green Belt) - Lean certification a plus
  • MRP and ERP experience needed for some positions
  • SAP experience
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong Computer skills (MS Office Professional)

Locations: Nationwide

Salary & Benefits: Starting salaries range from $65,000-$80,000+, depending on position. Full benefits package is included.

Please click here for more information!


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.

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

Did you know that Orion candidates have already earned $2300 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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