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Honoring Military Appreciation Month: A journey of service and transition

May is Military Appreciation Month, a time to honor the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces. This month encompasses several significant days, including Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day, each offering a unique opportunity to recognize the sacrifices and contributions of our military community.

To provide a deeper understanding of what it means to serve and transition from military to civilian life, I wanted to detail my experiences as a seventh-generation Army veteran and the qualities veterans bring to the workforce.

A legacy of service

I come from a multi-generational military family. My dad was in the service, my grandfather, and even my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, who served with Washington in Philadelphia. Growing up in a household where service mattered, I chose to attend West Point, starting on June 27, 1991.

I recall my training and early assignments, including my time as a platoon leader at Fort Campbell, KY, where my career began much like a scene from a military movie, leading a platoon and later serving in Panama.

Transition to civilian life

In 2000, I faced a significant life change, transitioning from active duty to the reserves and eventually entering the corporate world in 2003. Leaving the Army on a Friday and starting at General Electric (GE) Capital on Monday was quite the culture shock. The transition was marked by adjustments to corporate norms and learning the unwritten rules of office life, vastly different from military protocols.

The life skills the military instills, such as accountability, communication, and a mission-first mindset, proved invaluable in my corporate career. However, the unspoken office politics and the nuances of corporate communication were new challenges. In the military, you never leave without talking to your boss to ensure they don’t need anything from you. In the corporate world, I learned quickly that this wasn’t necessary.

The value of veterans in the workforce

I believe veterans bring unique strengths to the workforce. Resiliency is key. The ability to deal with adversity, get back up and stay motivated is crucial. The military challenges you daily, teaching you to navigate through adversity and come back stronger.

Teamwork, though often taken for granted in the military, is another vital quality. In the military, counting on your teammates is fundamental. This level of trust and cohesion is something veterans naturally bring to any team.

Supporting veterans

Empathy and understanding are essential in supporting veterans transitioning into civilian roles. I suggest being patient and providing real-time feedback, helping them adapt to the new environment. Even simple things like understanding corporate jargon can be a hurdle. What might seem like everyday language to us can be entirely new to someone with a military background.

Conduent’s commitment

At Conduent, my colleagues and I are dedicated to supporting veterans through initiatives like Conduent Salutes!, our military Employee Impact Group (EIG).  We strive to create an inclusive environment that recognizes and values the unique contributions of veterans. By fostering a supportive community, we aim to ease their transition and leverage their skills to drive our collective success.

As we celebrate Military Appreciation Month at Conduent and beyond, let us collectively honor the dedication of our service members, past and present. Their sacrifices and the qualities they bring to civilian life enrich our communities and workplaces. Let us also commit to supporting their transitions, ensuring they feel valued and understood in their new roles and civilian life. To all our veterans and their families, we extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation.

For more information on Conduent’s approach to DE&I and to learn about our initiatives, please visit our website.

About the Author

Adam has global, end-to-end responsibility over our portfolio of Transportation solutions including Road Usage Charging and Transit, helping agencies across the globe transform their mobility and payment solutions to streamline operations, increase revenue, and reduce congestion while creating safer communities and seamless travel experiences for consumers. His leadership is pivotal to aligning our people, processes, and technology to new ways of working and delivering on our client commitments while driving operational excellence across our transportation businesses. Adam earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Systems Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and he completed Leadership Development Programs at GE, Bank of America, Ally Financial and Fiserv.

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