By Michael Bliss, Soldier For LifeJanuary 29, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. (Jan. 29, 2013) -- "I wanted you to know that the Soldier for Life initiative of assisting Soldiers, veterans, and their families leave military service "career ready," connected, and resourced to transition is working," said former U.S. Army Captain RaeAnne Pae.
RaeAnne was recently hired by the New York Stock Exchange's Event Marketing office after participating in the Military Veteran Forum held Sept. 11, 2012, and learning about the exhchange's next Forum for Human Resources and Veterans Program Executives, to be held in November.
She decided to seek out a position with the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, knowing they value the experience veterans have, and they assist veterans in obtaining meaningful employment.
The connections RaeAnne made at these forums linked her to the U.S. Army's Soldier for Life office, which shares a common goal of assisting our Soldiers achieve a successful transition so they remain Army Strong.
At the November forum, similar to other Soldier for Life engagements, regional director Lt. Col. Herb Koehler highlighted to the participating corporate leaders the business case for hiring military talent, and the great qualities that our Soldiers, veterans, and families continue to impart within their communities upon reintegration as "Soldiers for Life."
RaeAnne readily grasped the Soldier for Life concepts of instilling Army values, ethos, and leadership into community organizations, and applied them to her family's successful transition from active duty.
RaeAnne along with her husband, Tom successfully transitioned out of the Army this past July from Fort Campbell, Ky., after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Although they both left the Army at the same time, their approach to the transition process was different.
Well before the end of service, Tom already knew that he wanted to use his Post 9/11 GI Bill Veteran Benefit to pursue a Masters of Business Administration at Columbia University in New York City.
Less definitively, RaeAnne was unsure of which career direction she wanted to take, and she therefore identified her short term goal of self reflection as key to determining her career path post-transition.
She decided not use her GI Bill benefit right away and instead reached out to mentors to assist her in determining what she wanted to do for a second career, and how to enhance this new career through her education benefit.
Already possessing a solid military network of subordinates, peers, and former leaders, RaeAnne sought out external Veteran service organizations to include the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA, The Mission Continues, American Corporate Partners, and the Women Veterans and Families Network.
These and many other non-profit organizations seek to assist service members, their families and veterans successfully make the transition from active duty service through linking up civilian mentors to veterans, as well as giving flexibility for newly transitioned Soldiers to explore new careers.
With heavy assistance from these organizations, RaeAnne decided that she enjoyed working with people because in part due to her undergraduate degree in psychology, and that her time in the Army enhanced here organizational and communication skills.
Through information sharing among the non-profit organizations, and because of the indirect efforts of the Soldier for Life initiative, she was interviewed by the NYSE in November, and was eventually was hired within Event Marketing office in early December.
The Pae's are an example of how to leverage the Soldier for Life effort to achieve for a successful reintegration into communities with meaningful post-service employment, education opportunities to achieve new career goals, and access to healthcare.
The Pae's remain Soldiers for Life, having honorably served, successfully transitioned, and now remain Army Strong while serving the greater New York City area.