Name: Joe Stewart
Rank/Rate: E-6/SSG (Retired)
Military Job/MOS: Automated Logistic Specialist/92A
Civilian Career Job Title: SRS Mid-Atlantic Regional Safety Manager
About: I work with and through management to ensure compliance with safety and environmental procedures, and to assist in the achievement of productivity and profitability requirements within SRS. I conduct Annual Safety Audits and training on safety policies and guidelines to ensure compliance with state, federal laws, and OSHA regulations.
Advice: My advice to all transitioning veterans: apply the training the military has instilled in your training and selfless service to our country. Work hard, stay motivated and dedicated, display leadership qualities, lead from the front, be the example for others, be the best at whatever you do, know your employees, be their leader - not their co-workers (remember you are the leader), but always be respectful towards your employees and they will be respectful towards you. Always give an effort of 110% at everything you do in life. These are traits of an effective leader. Most importantly, never give up on your goals and dreams and put God first in everything you do!!!
Career Takeaways: My success for my career has been attributed to being a self-motivator, working smarter not harder, prioritizing my day to day activities. Being organized is very important when you have a lot of tasks to accomplish daily. Stay focused on your goals and dreams. Always volunteer for duties that give you an opportunity to demonstrate your learning ability to adapt and grow, and continue to enroll and take college courses for certifications and general studies courses within your career path. In conclusion, stay focused and never give up on your goals in life. "Work hard, Play hard, and Make money"!!!
Name: Lance R. Paulauskas
Rank/Rate: Master Sergeant/E-7
Branch: US Air Force
Military Job/MOS: Security Forces Squad Leader/3P071
Civilian Career Job Title: Director, Service Desk Operations
About: In my role as Director of Service Desk Operations, I am responsible for providing oversight to the various teams that support IT Operations (Service Desk, Mobile, and Hardware Teams) for SRS. On average, my Team handles over 32,000 support calls and over 28,000 support requests a year. Customer Service is at the heart of what we do at SRS, and my goal is to ensure that my Team exemplifies SRS Culture and Core Values by serving our SRS Customers with a sense of urgency and a spirit of excellence. I firmly believe that our Shared Services Support Teams have a direct role in making our branches successful, and we are happy to serve them.
Advice: One thing I try to relay to my team is to be always be teachable. I have been in the IT industry for 20 years, and I have seen a lot of changes take place as new technology has emerged. This has taught me to be flexible and to be willing to learn new things as we need to be adaptable to our ever-changing environment. This same concept has been especially true for me military career. Being teachable and adaptable helps us set the example for the troops/employees under us who are being raised as the next generation of leaders. Military members who are transitioning to the civilian workforce bring a great skillset of discipline, adaptability, and attention to detail. These are critical attributes for employers building a resilient workforce.
Career Takeaways: A few years ago, one of my mentors provided me with solid career advice: Work Hard, Stay Humble. One of the main takeaways from my career has been to strive to maintain a solid work ethic. We are human, and mistakes will be made along the way. Things may not always go the way you want them to, but it is how you respond (and not react) that ultimately helps you to succeed. As such, don't be afraid to admit when you make mistakes. Over the course of my career, I have learned much of what I know today by rolling up my sleeves and figuring things out - which includes not being afraid to ask for help or clarification when I didn't understand something. While formal education certainly helps (and provides a foundation), experience has been the best teacher for me.
Name: Joe Beals
Military Job/MOS: 6154 Huey & Cobra Airframes / 8156 Marine Security Guard
Civilian Career Job Title: Branch Manager, SRS Distribution
About: As a Branch Manager, I'm tasked with leading a team of 41 dedicated employees, delivering a $36MM budget and making sure everyone has a great time in the process! Collectively we develop, implement and manage a detailed business plan in a competitive environment utilizing all available assets. Responsibilities include: generating and managing key performance indicators including gross profit, EBITDA, sales revenue and overall serviceability with a strong emphasis on customer service.
Advice: Refuse to be outworked; lean on your experiences. Let your work ethic, discipline and tact speak for itself. Our company moves at a fast pace and our challenges are dynamic - be confident, make sound decisions but move forward. Trust but verify, set expectations and follow up. Most importantly - "Don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff."
Career Takeaways: "Make Money, Have Fun and Give Back" SRS is an amazing place to grow. Our people are like none other in the industry and our culture is like none other in the corporate landscape. It's competitive, it's fun and it's lucrative - if you see responsibility TAKE IT and reach further than you'd thought possible.
Name: Mary Bergstrom (Wilson)
Rank/Rate: ADAN E-3
Branch: US Navy
Military Job/MOS: Aviation Machinists Mate (Power Plants on F/A-18 Hornet's)
Civilian Career Job Title: Accounts Payable Specialist (Inventory)
About: I handle all the invoice entry for all 3rd party freight companies. This includes crane vendors and tile loaders as well as all the freight providers. Most freight companies have very short pay terms so I have to make sure that invoices are entered timely and also make sure we aren't paying any inappropriate tariff or weight class fees. I also have built a rapport with our larger freight companies so they will offer certain discount terms for our company.
Advice: Some of the best advice I received was don't ask anyone to tackle a task you are not willing to do yourself. This way any time you ask someone to do something they know this is something you would take care of yourself but need help to accomplish the task. And that we are all on the same team.
Career Takeaways: Make sure you own your work. If you make a mistake, own it and learn from it. Don't hide it or try to blame someone else. You are not defined by your mistakes especially when you are new and learning your position. Treat everyone with respect and they will respect you in return. Also, make sure to take advantage of all the education benefits the military offers you. Learn new skills that will help you be a stand out employee. Work smarter not harder no matter what your job duties include. And remember to Have Fun and Make Money!!