Why military personnel make good radio techs
Whenever I go to a sporting event these days, there often is a moment when some member of our armed forces is recognized, and the crowd stands as one to show its appreciation. It’s nice to witness.
It was far different when I was a kid. I grew up in a time when military personnel were treated pretty shabbily. It was during the Vietnam War, and there was a great deal of anti-war sentiment. Our military hadn’t fared well during the Korean War and was having an even tougher time in Vietnam. That exacerbated a pervasive political feeling that this was a war that the U.S. shouldn’t be fighting. The frustration and anger that Americans felt toward the politicians that put the country in this position was turned toward returning veterans, who were ostracized—and worse.
Back then, I felt that this was wrong, not out of some great political conviction—I was a teenager, and I had other things on my mind—but because I believed that anyone who puts on a uniform for the purpose of keeping the rest of us safe should be held in high esteem. I still believe that.
For this reason, I eagerly sat in on a session at the recent 2013 Wireless Leadership Summit entitled “Why your next tech hire should be a military vet.” It was presented by Greg Kern, a partner with Bradley-Morris, a job-placement firm that specializes in finding work for former military personnel. (Click here to view related video.)
According to Kern, enlisted personnel often have technical backgrounds and junior officers even more so—roughly half have a general engineering degree, often from one of the military academies.
Military personnel also possess numerous intangibles that should be attractive to prospective employers, Kern said. They have a well-developed work ethic; they are disciplined; they know how to take direction; they are capable of thinking on their feet; and they typically are unflappable. Regarding this last intangible, after having people shooting at them and trying to blow them off the face of the Earth, I can’t imagine they would be thrown by anything they encounter in a radio shop.
All of this makes military veterans “a great fit” for two-way radio dealers, Kern said.
I certainly wouldn’t advocate hiring a lesser candidate just because he or she is a military veteran. But if the decision is close, it would be nice if the veteran got the nod. They’ve earned the consideration, don’t you think?