More SEAL Stories

My real transition into civilian life happened over a decade after I’d left the military, when I was let go from a job by a SEAL—one of my brothers.

It was the hardest thing I’d experienced, even after all my deployments. Until then, I’d been so busy working that I couldn’t focus on my physical or mental health. Broken down emotionally, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. As a 30-year SEAL veteran, I faced greater hiring challenges than a 10-year veteran. On top of the “normal” discrimination facing SEALs, I battled ageism. In the military, you are part of a meritocracy. You rise within the structure based on your ability to perform consistently. It’s very linear. SFF helps you understand this isn’t the case elsewhere.

Eventually, I received treatment for TBI and PTSD—these things had been latent before losing by job—and landed a career recruiting at a company where I work specifically bringing veterans into the corporate workforce. Both through my personal experience and the particular trajectory of my career, I’ve seen both sides of the employment coin for SEALs. Companies have to understand the Special Operations Veteran in order to leverage the attributes that take years to replicate in the confinements of the corporate world. SFF is not only placing SEALs in these roles, it illuminates for the people hiring them what they gain from doing so. SFF is an incredible organization; one every company looking for dedicated, solution-oriented employees should consider recruiting through.

—Jim