Success After Service: A Conversation with Takiesha Waites-Thierry

“Everything that I did has helped me get to where I am today”

Everyone who has volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces has their own story – their motivation, if you will – for why they decide to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. It can be a job for some, a path to college for others and a patriotic duty for many. Still more will cite family tradition, that they are following a childhood dream, seek the ample opportunities for on-the-job training, or – even – their desire to see the world.  

For Takiesha Waites-Thierry, it was all about getting out of her hometown: “I just felt trapped. I wondered, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ I didn’t see a road out of Toledo, Ohio. I couldn’t picture it. So, in my senior year, I dropped out of college and joined the Navy.”  

She didn’t come from a military family and remembers assuring her mom, “We haven’t been in a real war since the Gulf War in 1991. Nothing is going to happen.” Several months later, she left for boot camp. A month after that, America – and the world – woke on a Tuesday morning to the unfathomable horror that was 9/11, and Osama bin Laden became a household name.

The irony of that – all these years later – isn’t lost on Takiesha.  

The Path to a Career

Takiesha profile picThe first time I spoke with Takiesha, she was finishing up a two-year Joint Duty Assignment. She was on loan to the Navy, from the Coast Guard, and working at NCIS. Today, she is a Senior Vice President at Bank of America and manages the US Intelligence and Analysis team within Global Corporate Security.  How did she get there? It’s an interesting story and everything she did in the military played a pivotal role.

Back in 2001, when she was sitting with her Navy recruiter, Takiesha told him she wanted to work in photography or journalism. “I have no idea why,” she’ll tell you now, “it just sounded cool. I’m serious. I had no rhyme or reason behind any decisions I was making.” But, back then, there was a long wait for those jobs. After hearing she had majored in Political Science and minored in Criminal Justice, the recruiter offered her other options. “I was 20 years old,” she explains, “and the only question I asked was, ‘Where are the schools?’” He replied – Texas and Virginia Beach. “I said, ‘Ooo, Virginia Beach. Yeah, that sounds cool. I’ll take Virginia Beach.”

“So, that’s how I picked – I mean NO method,” Takiesha says with a laugh, adding, “I would never make a decision today like I made that one 17 years ago!”

The job? Intelligence Specialist. It was a gamble, she admits, because she wasn’t completely sure what she had signed up to do. Now, she calls it: “The best uninformed decision I’ve ever made in my life.”  

Takiesha 6 edited croppedTo hear Takiesha tell the story, she had always been interested in what was going on in the world. She was a student of history. She watched the news and read articles – but the concerns then were about gangs and Colombian drug lords. She had never heard anything about Al Qaeda until 9/11. Her challenge in Intelligence school was that she had never thought of threats before – and, growing up in a small midwestern town, she certainly wasn’t familiar with the way Al Qaeda operated. “It was difficult to change my thought process into, wow, there are really people who hate America. So, I had to change my perspective.”

Takiesha’s Intelligence career spans more than 15 years. That includes active duty, her time as a defense contractor for Coast Guard Intelligence, and her work as a government civilian with the Coast Guard Counterintelligence Service. She also spent time in a CENTCOM Reserve unit that worked to counter terrorist organizations that financed their activities by selling drugs.

What was it that gave her the thrill and passion to continue pursuing that career path?

“Because every day I came to work – no two days were the same. And, still to this day, when I walk into Bank of America, no two days look the same,” she’ll tell you. Whether it was imagery, operational intelligence, counterintelligence, or signals, she says the military provided so many choices and options, it was possible to do anything – and everything. “That’s what I love about it. Every time I walked into an assignment, it was different. And it has been different throughout my career.”

Advances for Women in the Military

One of Takiesha’s first assignments was aboard the USS Ronald Reagan – the newest aircraft carrier in the Navy’s fleet and the first ship specifically built with a female crew in mind. “That’s what we always heard, ‘This ship was made to have 50 percent female crew.’ Which I thought, wow, its 2001, how did you not have this many women around here to begin with – but they just didn’t.  I was in at a time when there were still some salty guys who didn’t think women should be on those ships.”

While military history credits women with serving on the battlefield, along with men, in both the American Revolution and the Civil War (sometimes disguised as men to do so), they’ve only formally been part of the armed forces since the inception of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. It took a few more decades for the U.S. Congress to finally act, in 1948, to make women a permanent part of the military. Then, it was only after the move to an All-Volunteer Force in 1973 that women saw any increased job opportunities when choosing a military career. These days, more and more women are serving in the armed forces, but they are still a minority, making up less than 17 percent of all current active duty personnel and about 10 percent of America’s military veterans.     

Since 9/11, it’s estimated that women have represented more than 11 percent of the forces that deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, since 2010, advances for military women have included:  the Navy approving women officers to serve onboard submarines; the graduation of women from the Army’s Ranger School, the first woman promoted to four-star admiral in the Navy – Admiral Michelle Howard, who is also credited with many other historical firsts during her military career; and the Defense Department lifting its ban on women serving in front-line combat roles.

takiesha1 navyBack when Takiesha served on the USS Ronald Reagan, she was a shipboard Intelligence Specialist. Later, as a civilian for the Coast Guard, she worked in counterintelligence – a field that was dominated by men. She found, then, that most of the analysts were women, but most of the actual field agents and operators on the ground were men.  

“I was lucky to start as an analyst and transition to agent,” she says, sharing that – still – there were times she was mistaken as admin personnel or someone’s assistant. “People kind of never expected me to show up as the case agent.” At the time, the unit, itself, was less than 10 percent female. “For a while, we only had three women agents and I was the only black woman. There was also one black man. We never had more than six female agents at once.”  

Takiesha’s career with the Coast Guard was significantly longer (10 years) than the time she served in the Navy, offering her a unique and lasting perspective: “I was always impressed that the Coast Guard, being such a small organization, was so diverse in its active duty ranks. I think it has more female flag officers, percentage-wise, than any other of the services.”   

More recently, while on loan to NCIS from the Coast Guard (2015-2018), she observed a noticeable increase in the number of women now working in operational intelligence units. “Those opportunities – to be on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq – didn’t really exist in the early 2000s. So, to see how women are being deployed in the same frequency that men are being deployed, I think that’s good – I really do.”

Every Decision Played a Role

Takiesha was a Petty Officer in the Navy when her ship’s Intelligence Officer suggested that she should apply for Officer Candidate School (OCS). Her reply, at the time, was “Ma’am, I would rather be a seaman any day, before I’m an Ensign.” She explains that decision, today, saying she had noticed early in her career that those who were enlisted “had their hands in it and were really becoming the subject matter experts.” Sure, she admits, they were working 10-times harder – but her focus was always on the intelligence work she was doing.

“I loved the fact that I was enlisted. That’s how I got here. That’s how I got to the seat that I’m sitting in today – because I got to actually do the work, instead of looking at it from afar.”

Toward the end of our conversation, Takiesha shared a recent discussion she had with her friend, who is also a female veteran and served in the Marine Corps. They both started new jobs in the civilian workforce on the same day in January. Her friend works at Google.

 “She asked me, ‘Do you wish you would’ve left government faster?’ And I answered, ‘I thought about that – but, no – because, had I found the job any sooner than I did, I wouldn’t have been ready.” Takiesha stressed, “Every single day I went to work before January 22 prepared me for January 22. Everything that I did has helped me get to where I am today.”  



Written by:

Kathleen Saal, Hire Heroes USA Marketing & Communications Manager



Success After Service: What Military Women Think – Part 3

As part of Hire Heroes USA’s focus on women who serve – and have served – in the U.S. Armed Forces, we reached out to a number of female veterans who are employed in the civilian workforce. We’ve already shared their replies to the first two questions. This is the last one we asked them to answer:








I would tell them not to shy away from what they believe they are capable of, to have and build that confidence to put yourself out there.  Don’t turn away from a job because there may be a qualification or two that you don’t believe you have, or even if you don’t have a degree.  Companies sometimes look for the whole person concept, and if you get in front of someone during an interview process you may be just the right person they’re looking for – regardless of whether you meet all the qualifications. Look for positions that are outside of your experience because if you get that position, it will allow you to learn different experiences and to have them in your “back pocket” when you want to move on. Sell yourself on LinkedIn, connect with people you don’t know and send messages to the Human Resources personnel of companies that you think you’re interested in or if you see a position you like reach out to them. Networking is one of the best things you can do to really set yourself up for success. Go to hiring conferences and/or job fairs, if anything just to network with companies and other people. Don’t settle for what may be the bare minimum of what you qualify for; you may be missing an opportunity of your lifetime by not putting yourself out there.  Believe in you!

SAS photos3U.S. ARMY E-5

Continue to be strong. Continue to fight. Strive for excellence but stay humble. Help each other to succeed. Celebrate each other’s success.


Try to figure out the person you want to be after taking off the uniform. Develop confidence. If you don’t have it, find someone who does and learn from them. Believe in the skills that you have to offer a potential employer. Believe in yourself. Just like we had to go through training to be an airman, soldier, etc. Training is needed to re-enter the civilian world again. Take every advantage to get some.


Not all jobs come from websites and postings. Network and talk to people! Your military experience speaks for you and people will want to hire you because of your military experience alone. I came across individuals through small conversations at appointments in waiting areas that asked for my resume because they wanted to help simply based on me being a veteran. I started job searching about a year out and I found a position that really interested me, coincidentally I knew someone who worked in the same area from my son’s football team. I asked him if he knew of this department and within 24 hours someone from that department reached out to me. I was able to ask what the job entailed, and tell them about myself. Unfortunately, they had to fill the position quickly and I still had almost eight months of active duty service left. While I was on my 30 days terminal leave, I received a phone call – from the same person in the company I spoke to months earlier – stating they had another opening and encouraged me to submit a resume. I emailed my resume the next day and within a week I was offered the job. If I hadn’t inquired months earlier and made contact, gave them my info, I never would have known the position was available again. Additionally, they never would have known about my skills and abilities by directly hearing from me, only through my resume.  I really believe it was the personal communication and my genuine interest in this particular job that led them to remember me and reach out again.


Be confident in the skills and experience gained, and start learning how to leverage your experience for future success.


I would tell them that transitioning is just a natural progression of life, whether you are leaving the military or moving from one job to another. Each assignment was a transition with new responsibilities and a new culture to experience and – as you know – this includes America. Treat civilian life as another assignment and learn what you can from the locals. With the internet we can learn what our next assignment and culture will be. Even if you are returning to your home of record, because you have changed, so has it. Share your experiences.


I would advise them to think about the skills they like – and enjoy using most – at their jobs now (leading people, organizing, analyzing data, looking at trends, etc.) and then align those skills with a job type. I would also mention:  my priority is on my home; my job is always second. I selected a workplace where I knew I could care for my family first. Tell everyone you know you’re looking for a job and the skills you like to use. Have a resume handy and announce it. Also, make sure you negotiate! Women rarely counteroffer on offers from employers. Also, listen to your gut – if you feel like a job won’t be a good “fit,” don’t take it just because it’s your only option. You’re highly valuable and you deserve to work for a place that you like.


When you are transitioning, it is important to remember that it is never too early to begin your transition, and asking for help is essential to your success. Find a niche, and figure out how you can use it to add value to an organization. Networking is certainly a staple of any effective transition plan, but the real question is how to get yourself in the right position at the right time.  Submitting 1,000 resumes and not receiving any feedback is a sure sign that you need some one-on-one work with your resume, or perhaps you could use some mentorship to help you clarify your goals. No one is the right person for every job, so having the right mixture of confidence and humble beginnings will help you realize where you stand and what still needs to be done to fill in the gaps. Never settle for a job that you do not truly want, just because it has the right price tag. This becomes apparent with your lack of enthusiasm and inability to hold onto a job that was the wrong choice all along. While it is often overlooked, culture fit is usually the difference between keeping a job for some time and quitting within six months. Visualize where you want to be, and make sure that the actions and habits that you do every day are in alignment with that vision. The habit of believing that your transition is something that begins and ends at a certain point should no longer be a part of your mental model. Realistically, you should begin making plans for either being in or out of the military concurrently, because not everything in life goes as planned and you never know when the decision to depart may turn into a reality. Communicate with your loved ones on the support that you may need, and try your best to help them understand that transitioning out of the military entails much more than changing uniforms.  Set aside your pride, ask for help, and when you are ready, prepare to give back to the same community that helped create your success story

SAS photosU.S. AIR FORCE E-5

Your military experience absolutely transitions to your civilian career, but you need to make sure that you can articulate how it does. I also think your ability to network within the civilian community will be essential to standing out from other job seekers.


Do not let anyone you work for mock your time in the military. If they cannot appreciate your time in service and training, they are not worth working for. Always look at the bigger picture, especially if you do not love your job. The transition is the hardest part and sometimes, you may have to take something less desirable to get your foot in the door and to ensure your income while working towards better options and careers. As they say: If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again. Think of the warrior ethos – I will not accept defeat, and I will not quit. There will be people waiting for you to fail so they can say I told you so or feel better about themselves, and only you can let them have that control over you. Walk with your head held high, stay positive and stay motivated – even when you reach a road block – and you will succeed.


Get as much independence as you can. Use Tuition Assistance and/or CLEP to take as many classes as possible. Get on job boards and research realistic jobs. Make sure there are applicable jobs in a given field before using your GI Bill benefits.


I would tell them to be confident in their abilities. Confidence in your brand will resonate with an employer during your 30-second elevator speech. I practiced the superman pose & my elevator speech in the mirror before career fairs to prepare me. Be open to relocation that fits your skill set. Be aware that you want an employer who cares for their female employees. I researched the employers that were rated highest for how they treated “working mothers.” I needed to find an employer that would value me and my need for work-life balance.


Lord! Have a drink and put your feet up! Swap your leader’s book for a brand-new notebook and make a list of the things you want to accomplish. Fully develop yourself in your NEW role and don’t let the past determine your future.


I had to work in a customer service logistics type job that put me in front of a computer for 12-hours a day, which gave me very little-to-no interactions with the customers I was assisting. I was not very happy and one day – out of the blue, – I received a call from someone who picked my resume out of 300+ resumes (thanks to Hire Heroes USA) and decided to interview me. The day after my interview, I was offered my dream job.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find your ideal job right away. It will happen.

Success After Service: What Military Women Think – Part 2

As part of Hire Heroes USA’s focus on women who serve – and have served – in the U.S. Armed Forces, we’ve reached out to female veterans who already have jobs in the civilian workforce. Of those who responded, a sizable majority of them are military spouses, too. Here’s another question we asked them:







­­­I think the biggest trait that the military helped me to define was communication. I learned to communicate within diverse groups and communities which enabled me to effectively meet the mission of my job through teamwork.  Effective communication helped me to build trust and trust provides a necessary foundation for teamwork and networking. I was able to communicate through my transition about what I wanted to do in the civilian workforce, and it was through networking and building trust that I got my current position.


There are so many skills and traits that I learned in the military that continue to be a part of who I am and what I’m able to accomplish each day.  I learned to seek out and accept challenges by being the first female in my unit to jump out of airplanes and complete both water and combat survival schools. I learned what it really means to raise your right hand and serve when a child of one of the Airmen I worked with told me his father deployed – but didn’t come home.  I learned that being a good leader also means being a good follower. The opportunity to be surrounded by so many different people regardless of age, rank, gender, ethnicity, etc. was so rewarding and helped me to pause and see things from different perspectives.

U.S. ARMY E-6 

The ability to multitask and lead with little-to-no direction. For much of a military career you are told what to do and when to do it, however once the boots come off and your hair comes down, then you are on your own. Having the ability to take ownership over what turns you will take is a huge lesson that I learned – and have success in – on the civilian side.


My best asset today would be my problem-solving skills and my public speaking.  I am very detail-oriented and like to solve problems to the best of my abilities, whether it’s in my job description or not.  Public speaking has helped with my transition because it has allowed me to feel confident, especially when it comes to interviewing with different companies that I have applied for.  When you’re able to speak in front of one or 100 people, it says a lot about who you are as a person and what you’re able to contribute to your team.

U.S. ARMY O-3 

That I can perform any task required of me, I’m not specialized and I always figure out how to get the product/task done.


Confidence – and the ability to accomplish almost any task – allowed me not to shy away from any task or goal that I wanted to achieve.


The skill that has helped me most in my transition is resilience. Regardless of the challenge, I am confident that I can overcome anything with the right plan and direction. When it comes to finding and/or keeping a job, it is important to look past obstacles or use them to your advantage.  In the military, tasks are often given, and the expectation is that it will get done despite set-backs and barriers.  I have often found that the most challenging tasks are often the most worthwhile and lead to the best growth opportunities, both in and out of the military.     

DoD Photos SAS3U.S. AIR FORCE E-4 

The Air Force gave me the technical skills and education in the Personnel field but I think the biggest trait the military has given me is to be confident with who I am…whether it be my skills, my approach to work and people, or how to talk to people.  Resiliency is another thing that the Air Force has taught me.  If someone tells me no, I find a different way of doing things until they say yes.


I learned leadership and interacting with people. Those are my best assets today. As a project manager, those are some of the skills that are key to being successful. I have benefited from those skills outside my corporate role as well. I volunteer a lot and most of the roles I’ve held have been in leadership; motivating others to do their best.

U.S. ARMY E-5 

Leadership and mentorship. I continue to use those skills to help fellow veterans overcome barriers to employment.


Organization and analysis of facts. My job requires me to determine the facts and help develop a legal theory by gathering factual evidence and organizing to help the attorney to further develop a legal theory to present to the court and jury. Yes, my organizational skills were recognized by supervisors who supported me to progress to promotions.

U.S. ARMY E-4 

From a mental perspective, it taught me to be tough and stand firm. From a professional standpoint, it taught me to double/triple check to ensure accuracy and to be diligent in your work because small errors can lead to larger problems. It helped a little in my transition to the civilian word, and I say a little because I was a waitress until I decided what I wanted to do with my life. In nursing school, it helped me overcome a lot of desires to quit from fatigue and stress (I was in school, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and working full time with a baby at home, so it helped me prioritize and think of the bigger picture).

Success After Service: What Military Women Think – Part 1

As part of Hire Heroes USA’s focus on women who serve – and have served – in the U.S. Armed Forces, we’ve reached out to female veterans who already have jobs in the civilian workforce. Of those who responded, a sizable majority of them are military spouses, too. One of the questions we asked them was this:



U.S. Marine Corps E-6

My military service has contributed to my success in the civilian workforce in many different ways –  especially in the areas of teamwork and leadership. The discipline and reliable work ethic developed during my time in the military has helped me adapt more quickly to new environments and maintain a positive attitude despite setbacks. My work with diverse groups of people – in a variety of leadership positions – has also given me the ability use a flexible communication style that is both candid and direct.  I can also attribute my attention to detail and focus on process improvement to the experience given to me by the Marine Corps.

DoD Photos SAS6U.S. Army E-4

It has given me strength and determination to continue on – even though I may not ‘feel’ like it or not be excited about it. It taught me commitment to my job and how to continue to work towards something better. Because of my time in the military, those roadblocks that everyone reaches in their career…. I look at them as challenges – and think and plan different ways to overcome them, and make sure I have a backup plan.

U.S. Air Force E-5

The leadership and teamwork that I learned in the military continues to help me in my civilian career. I am also great in any work emergency!

U.S. Navy E-7

My military service really paved a pathway for my current position in the civilian workforce. The military provided structure and I was given distinct expectations at every rank. I learned the basic skills of a Hospital Corpsman early on but then continued to develop into a leader. I acquired the skills of customer service and professionalism in a medical atmosphere. I learned to listen and communicate to patients, peers, and subordinates with various personalities – from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds. The military made me accountable through the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment and I developed my work ethic around those core values. In my current position I continue to uphold those values as an asset to the team and be accountable to my job description. I am comfortable and confident in providing feedback or offering new ideas to increase productivity in my current position because of the challenges I endured throughout my Naval career.

U.S. Air Force E-3

It gave me a disciplined approach to working that helps in the civilian workforce.

U.S. Army E-5

My military service has given me a strong work ethic and dedication to the work that I do. It also brought me out of my shell and taught me to be a bit more confident. Before, I was scared to try new things – but the military taught me to be strong and independent.

DoD Photos SAS4_copyU.S. Air Force E-5

The military has contributed to my success in many different aspects of my life, and not just what has made me successful in the civilian workforce. The military taught me to mature a lot faster than my peers, to be independent, to work under pressure, to be able to handle that pressure and know that everything you do impacts the world in some way or another, and – most importantly – impacts our nation.  More specifically, the military helped me achieve two Associates Degrees and a Bachelor’s degree. Currently, the military is still helping me by allowing me to utilize the Post 9/11 GI Bill for my Master’s degree. During my time in the military, I was hand-selected to be an instructor for my job in the military and to teach a certified course for specific career fields in the military. It allowed me to travel all around the world and learn about many different cultures and how the military works within the different countries to help support them – and the support they provide to us.  The military taught me to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone, to be confident, to be a leader, and to consistently challenge myself to learn new things.  With these many different contributions, I have been able to take each one and apply to my life and within my career in the civilian workforce

U.S. Army O-3

I’m utilized for fast paced projects with many layers of executives involved. I’m also utilized for strategic vision throughout our Division. I learned to work with all types of people while in the military – that has made me incredibly versatile and flexible for any type of project.

U.S. Air Force E-4

The structure I had in the military helped me with focusing on what I wanted to do. It gave me the confidence and drive to pursue the job I now have but recognizing small steps were needed along the way.

U.S. Army E-6

Leadership is the top military asset that has helped in all the roles that I have had since leaving the military. Having a specialty that I could use outside the service comes in second.

U.S. Air Force E-5

It has given me the background to research and be confident in my abilities. I learned that I can set a goal and achieve the goal.

U.S. Air Force O-4

Each day, I proudly “accessorize” my outfit with two items: 1) nametag and 2) pin.  According to my nametag, I am a Realtor affiliated with Coldwell Banker.  However, more importantly is the pin I wear above that nametag — my retirement pin that proudly represents my 24 years of military service.  During my career, I had the opportunity to serve as an AFROTC Instructor. I vividly recall one of the lessons where we were discussing military ethics. I shared statistics from the annual Gallup Poll, where the public was surveyed to rank their perception of the most, and least, honest and ethical career fields. Ranking in the top were nurses, clergy and doctors, while — at the very bottom — salespeople (including, real estate agents)!  I strongly believe that because of my military service, and the core values that are instilled in me, it has helped me earn trust with potential clients while now serving in an industry that is associated with a negative perception.


Hire Heroes USA’s #SuccessAfterService initiative coincides with Women’s History Month

Helping Women Veterans Find Employment

A Perspective on Women’s Success After Service

Womens History Month BlogI was in the fighter pilot community in 1991 when women broke the glass ceiling preventing them from serving on combat aircraft, and the first female fighter pilots entered the squadrons.

It was one moment in a series of advances when women successfully fought for the right to defend our nation and protect our freedom – coming more than four decades after women were officially recognized as members of the military and 15 years after they  won the right to attend U.S. Service Academies. Years later, while in a combat role after 9-11, I proudly served beside women and watched them positively impact our nation’s mission.

Hire Heroes USA helped more than 1,000 female veterans to successfully find new careers in 2017. Through more than a decade of working one-on-one with our clients, we have found that women veterans experience additional challenges to gaining meaningful employment. In the military, women are a true minority, making up only 14.5% of the total force. In addition to that, only recently have they been allowed to serve in a greater number of combat roles. As such, women veterans are forced to overcome stereotypes, prejudices and career-limiting rules–challenges not faced by their male counterparts.

Unique Barriers

Women veterans encounter many of the same issues as their male peers when finding employment, such as not knowing how to conduct a successful job search, struggling with translating their military skills, and facing an undue prejudice from serving in the military during an active war. However, they also encounter additional barriers that stem from being a minority in a male-dominated profession. These challenges include greater childcare responsibilities, more health concerns, less education, and sexual trauma issues. On top of that, women veterans struggle with unemployment at a greater rate than their civilian counterparts. In fact, the post-9/11 veteran unemployment rate of 5.6% for women remains higher than the 3.6% national average. An even more concerning statistic is that women veterans are also between two and four times more likely than non-veteran women to experience homelessness.

Changing the Narrative

Womens History Month Blog4Hire Heroes USA recognizes all of these barriers, and we are actively working to change the narrative. Our primary focus is career transition because we believe finding a great job – and the sense of self-worth, financial health, and community integration that goes with it – is an upstream event that leads to positive, downstream outcomes for women veterans. Through intentional program personalization, and support from organizations like the Cheryl Saban Self-Worth Foundation for Women & Girls, and the Walmart Foundation, we are working to overcome these barriers so women veterans achieve greater success in the civilian workforce.  

In March, Hire Heroes is celebrating the accomplishments of women in the military and their significant impact. We are also working to better understand the barriers women veterans face when looking for civilian employment, and sharing the stories of those who have been successful. Women veterans bring great strength of character, sense of purpose and diverse talent to the American workforce. Our nation will be better if we celebrate their accomplishments and support their future.

Written by:

Christopher Plamp, Hire Heroes USA Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO, and a retired Air Force fighter pilot

Contributions from:

Erin Johnson, Hire Heroes USA Director of Development and U.S. Navy veteran

Hire Heroes USA Focuses Attention on U.S. Military Women in March Initiative

“Success After Service” highlights importance of successful transition into civilian careers

Coinciding with Women’s History Month in March, Hire Heroes USA, the preeminent nonprofit organization providing employment services to transitioning U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses across the United States and around the world, is launching “Success After Service,” a special monthlong initiative to highlight the efforts of women who serve – and have served – in the U.S. Armed Forces.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, women comprise more than 16 percent of all current active duty personnel and about 10 percent, or over two million, of our nation’s veterans – more than half of whom served in the Gulf War era (1990-present). In addition to that, the U.S. Department of Labor says women are, in fact, the fastest growing segment of the veteran community, reflecting increased opportunities for women in the military.

“Throughout the history of the U.S. military, women have raised their hands and signed up to serve this great country, while knowing they would be a minority in our armed forces. They have encountered obstacles that the men haven’t and, yet, they’ve pushed through, breaking ceilings and achieving notable success along the way,” said Christopher Plamp, Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO of Hire Heroes USA.

“Just in my lifetime, women have gained access to the U.S. military academies, are piloting fighter jets and have won the right to join ground combat units. Women serve in every branch of the military and have reached the highest ranks. Not only should we celebrate their service to this country, we should celebrate the success they continue to achieve after their military service,” Plamp stressed. “They’ve made their own way in a male-dominated profession, gaining extraordinary tools, training and leadership skills they can use for the rest of their lives.”

As the leading veteran service organization specifically targeting the issues of underemployment and unemployment among veterans, Hire Heroes USA has assisted 7,235 women veterans and military members – nearly 89 percent of them seeking assistance just since 2014. More recently, Hire Heroes USA has increased its efforts to specifically address the unique employment challenges these women face in their transition from military service to a civilian career.

In the last two weeks alone, the national nonprofit has held exclusive employment workshops for women veterans and active duty military in San Antonio and San Diego. The next in these exclusive workshops is set for March 7 in Colorado Springs. Hire Heroes USA is also offering a Virtual Workshop on March 14 and a Virtual Career Fair on March 15. Registration for all three of these upcoming events is available on our website.

History credits women with serving in the military as far back as the 1700s, when they fought alongside men – even posing as men to do so – in the Revolutionary War. Today, women serve proudly in more roles and with more opportunities than ever. Hire Heroes USA remains focused on providing the women and men who serve in our armed forces with the tools and assistance they need to find continued success after service in the civilian workforce.

About Hire Heroes USA: 

Headquartered in the Atlanta metro area for more than 10 years, with additional branch offices around the country, Hire Heroes USA provides consistently effective, individualized career coaching services that include resume, networking and interview assistance, federal sector help, mock interviews, and job sourcing. It also aligns itself with employment partners that range from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies that seek veteran talent. Hire Heroes USA’s programs are funded exclusively by private grants and public donations. It has earned Charity Navigator’s highest possible 4-star rating for a third consecutive year, and it also has a GuideStar Platinum level. For more information about our mission, our services, and how to get involved as a corporate partner, employment partner, donor or volunteer, please visit us online at and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

A digital copy of this press release is also available online at: