MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Sgt. Dakota Meyer, Marine Corps veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, accompanied by personnel from Hiring our Heroes, conducted a career and transition class for several squadrons at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., March 20.
According to Meyer, the unemployment rate for veterans under 25 is over 20 percent. The purpose of the event was to give Marines insight into life after the Marine Corps.
“I want to give Marines insight into some of the struggles I had to deal with when transitioning out of the Corps’,” said Meyer. “It is important for them to understand this information up front because as Marines, we are professionals at adapting and overcoming as long as we have the information we need. I am here to give them that information so that when the time does come for them to transition, they will be set up for success.”
The Hiring our Heroes team discussed topics including; nationwide networking; resume refining; certification and licensing; entrepreneurship; portable careers and government contracting.
“Our goal is to get the wheels spinning in the Marines’ heads and let them gain a better understanding of the environment they are about to enter,” said Meyer. “It is just like a brief before deploying. You must understand what is going on in the area of operation before you get there; this is the same principle for entering the civilian world.”
Hiring our Heroes is hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is a nationwide initiative to help veterans find meaningful employment in public, private and non-profit sectors. The program is aimed at transitioning service members and families to assist in their integration back into the civilian community.
“My favorite part of participating in these events is being around Marines, making a connection with them and helping bridge the gap between employers and veterans,” said Meyer. “After getting out of the military, I struggled finding employment and staying above water. Teaching this class allows me to share my personal experiences and help service members avoid the road bumps I have already hit so we can help them better their lives. That’s what Marines are best at, taking care of Marines, and that is what we are here to do.”
More than 300 Marines attended the day of classes here.
“I came to this class because I want to set myself up for success,” said Lance Cpl. Zachary Muzzy, an Air Traffic Control radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “I was unsure of what options would be available to me after the Marine Corps, but now I feel more confident in building my resume and my interview skills.”
According to Muzzy, the interactive class opened his eyes to what employers are looking for when conducting an interview.
“I did not realize how much I didn’t know until I came to the class,” said Muzzy. “What I took away from this class was to take every advantage to sell yourself to a potential employer and to have confidence in yourself.”
According to Muzzy, the class helped him put his current and future employment situations into perspective.
“Not all jobs within the Marine Corps offer the potential for employment after our active service is over,” said Muzzy. “ So it was good to see from someone first hand, that even if your job in the Marine Corps doesn’t set you up for a job in the civilian world, the skills you learn during your time in the service will benefit you for the rest of your life.”