What service were you in and how long did you serve?
I served in both the Navy and the Army. I was in for a total of 15 years. In the Navy, my job was a welder, and in the Army, I was Gun Chief for a Paladin howitzer.
What motivated you to join the military?
I wanted to serve my country, and also to see the world.
Were you aware of opportunities in the maritime industry? If you were, how? If not, how did you find out?
I was slightly unaware at the time of my hire. My father-in-law was a longshoreman, and he educated me about the industry.
What elements of your service career have helped you in transitioning to a private sector US-flag maritime position?
I feel that working on the waterfront is a lot like the military. Being an operations manager is a lot like being a Staff Sergeant, you have people looking to you for answers on how to load the vessel efficiently and safely, and they are more confident due to your previous experiences.
What endorsements do you currently hold?
Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS). My howitzer was designated TOP GUN, which is awarded to only one howitzer each year in the brigade.
What training have you received in your new position — and what new skills have you developed through on-the-job training?
I have refined my communication skills and have taken what I have learned from the military and applied it, making my relationships in the industry stronger.
What is most familiar to you in your current position relative to your rating in the service?
The teamwork that we all have and the way we get the job done is the most familiar to me.
What similarities have you found in the way the maritime industry operates in comparison to the military? Has this helped in your transition process?
I feel there is a lot of the same structure and similarities in both which made it an easy transition for me.
How does the pay, benefits, and working conditions of your current job compare to your military career?
For me, they are better in the private sector. My family is well taken care of because of my time in both the military and my current job.
What advice would you have for a separating service member interested in this field upon leaving the military?
The first step is the hardest but there are plenty of people outside the military that want to specifically help you succeed.
How long have you been with Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals?
What advice would you give to anyone transitioning from Military to Maritime?
Take all that you learned in the military and apply it, the two are very similar. The people skills that I learned as a service member have been very useful, especially the ability to communicate with others in a manner that gets the job done.