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It has been said that senior leaders put on their uniform pants one leg at a

time, too. They also job search like everyone else when their military service has ended.

The Redstone Edge Program is tailored to provide transitioning officers and noncommissioned officers networking opportunities in the business sector, while also advising them on the various aspects of civilian employment. The program meets quarterly with the schedule for 2020 as follows: April 27-28, July 20-21 and Oct. 26-27.

The program offers face-to-face dialogue for transitioning questions, salary negotiation, how to stand out from a crowd and additional aspects of obtaining civilian and federal employment. For service members, the civilian world is often unchartered waters.

Military members have to learn to engage “people who have not walked your walk,” said veteran Joe Pascal, facilitator for Monday’s Edge workshop. Oftentimes after separation, a service member will begin the network process but gravitate toward other former service members. Pascal advised attendees that in their new careers, they will “meet people who are not like you -- and that is difficult for us.”

The program also reaches beyond the professional to delve into the personal. Facilitator Russ Dunford spoke to Monday’s class about navigating life as a civilian, once the job hunt is over.

Mike Bell retired as a colonel in 2019 after 30 years of service. But with a son graduating from high school and upon the advice of contemporaries, he took some time before starting his job search. While at first the break was appreciated, one morning Bell’s wife told him, “You need to go find people,” he noted with a laugh.

For Bell, the Edge program is an opportunity to learn how to make oneself marketable, while also learning the tools to fit into a business-oriented environment.

“There are not a lot of job interviews in the Army,” he said.

Retirement Services Officer Ed Adams said he would like to see more participation in the program. While it targets transitioning officers and noncommissioned officers, it is also beneficial for the companies who are on the other side of the desk in the hiring process.

“It is an opportunity for corporate America to come out and tell senior leaders what they are looking for,” Adams said.

For more information about the Edge program, email Adams at edward.adams135.civ@mail.mil.

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