FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) held a unique Leader Professional Development (LPD) training event in an effort to prepare Soldiers for post-Army careers in private business, at the Wallace Theater, April 21.

The event highlighted the importance of developing a professional identity and business network. It also provided information and tutorials specifically for veterans entering the job market after the military.

Sgt. Maj. Michael Quinn, INSCOM G-3 sergeant major and event organizer, stressed the importance for Soldier's embarking on a civilian career to have a plan of attack.

"The time to prepare for your transition is not when you decide to separate or retire," Quinn said. "This class teaches Soldiers and their family members how to get in position for a successful career after their time in service."

The keynote speaker, Daniel Savage, LinkedIn head of Veterans Program, is no stranger to the unfamiliar process of transitioning from Army life to private business.

A former infantry officer and Iraq War veteran, Savage has dedicated his life connecting the veteran community with jobs, highlighting their "unique skill-sets and leadership abilities" to companies who are looking for just that kind of experience.

"People hire employees they feel like they can get to know and trust," he said. "It's crucial to establish a connection with a perspective employer through individuals who are already working in the field."

Veterans can establish connections in the business world through something Savage called "targeted networking capability," which is the ability to hone in on the right job at the right company, by linking up with influential people that work in the industry.

Savage provided a wealth of resources to the nearly 100 Soldiers and civilians in attendance, ranging from industry mentorship, resume assistance and tailoring ones attire to the desired work environment.

"I'm probably over-dressed today if I want to work in the tech industry," he quipped.
Those who attended Savage's presentation went away feeling better prepared to meet the challenges of the civilian job market.

Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Jackson, INSCOM G-1 human resources NCO who is scheduled to retire in early 2018, was ready to make changes to his post-Army career approach after Savage's presentation on networking enlightened him.

"Now I know how to better leverage the experience I've gained throughout my career in the civilian sector," Jackson said. "But getting my skillset to the right people is just as important."

Sgt. Christopher Hodges, a communications NCO who separates in July, was another who felt invigorated by Savage's presentation. He was thrilled with how the seminar focused specifically on gaining a foothold in private industry after military service.

"I have real insight now into what technology recruiters are looking for," Hodges said. "When it comes to finding the job I want, this training is the best I've received."

INSCOM conducts quarterly Leader Professional Development events with emphasis on counseling and mentoring to enhance professional growth.