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The Military IT

With Troop Drawdown, IT Looks To Hire More Vets 212

Lucas123 writes "The military's a great place to learn how to kill people and break things, but many also consider it one of the best training grounds for high-tech skills. 'If you're working on a ship or a plane or tank, you've got responsibility for large, complex, extremely expensive equipment run by highly sophisticated IT platforms and software,' said Mike Brown, senior director of talent acquisition at Siemens. But, just how well do military tech skills translate to private-sector IT? Computerworld spoke to veterans to find out just what they learned during their tours of duty and how hard it was to transition to the civilian workforce."
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With Troop Drawdown, IT Looks To Hire More Vets

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  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:07PM (#38013798)

    Not doing at least 20 years is a questionable call since you can retire after that, but going contract after you eject (early or late) is a good way to leverage any skillset you acquire.

    Find a system that will outlive you (the first folks to work on C-130s are now long dead!) and get in as early as possible.

    I've never met anyone who regretted serving until retirement, self included.

    If you don't like your job, crosstrain. If you don't like your service, get smart and go Air Force. :)

  • by GAATTC ( 870216 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:07PM (#38013802)
    In our Biology department we have a high end confocal microscope. This is a very expensive, sophisticated and complicated microscope with complex optical, mechanical, and control systems. The technician who services it and keeps it running was a sonar technician in a submarine for many years before he got a job working on microscopes. He is very good - logical, careful, and responsible. Obviously this is a small sample size but if his training in the navy has anything to do with his performance in his current job then this is a nice example of military training actually translating well into a civilian technology position.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:14PM (#38013894) Homepage
    of military veterans in IT my experience is limited to managers or techies, all can vary wildly.

    the manager I had at one company was from the navy. not very intelligent but he knew enough about how to lead a team
    that he could tell when we needed help and he knew when to stay out of the way. great guy to work with.
    but the helpdesk manager im told was a complete asshole. he alientated the seasoned pro's by treating them like kids
    and before we knew it, they had all quit.

    the NOC tech i work with now is coming out of retirement from the airforce. hes not brilliant by any stretch, and he doesnt appear motivated to
    any great feats of knowlege. probably a bad example

    the guy we just promoted is from the army. he isnt smart, and he chews up most of our time asking questions about code, but hes at least very motivated
    to learn. i guess thats a plus.
  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:16PM (#38013932)

    s. The technician who services it and keeps it running was a sonar technician in a submarine for many years before he got a job working on microscopes. He is very good - logical, careful, and responsible.

    I've known couple others that been in the sub service and they are very good. Getting sub service experience means they had to pass courses and examinations, besides weeding out nutzoids they also want best techie talent on board when you are weeks (months?) under the water.

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:25PM (#38014008) Homepage

    Depends on where and how you serve. I was a National Guardsman. Turns out that no matter how many times they send me to Iraq, I still get "reserved retirement" which means that you get jack shit till you're 65. You can still retire at 20 years, and the years of active duty increase the amount you get in retirement pay; but reservist don't get any benefits until age 65. So you serve from say age 18-38 and retire. In that time you spend 5 years on deployment. Those 5 years add to the percentage of your salary you'll see from retirement payments, but you don't see the first payment for 27 years.

  • by sirdude ( 578412 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:29PM (#38014054)

    What is common between the /. editorial department & the USPTO? They don't bother to check what they rubber-stamp :S

    The post links to the last page of the article instead of the first [].

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:31PM (#38014078) Homepage Journal

    Submariners tend to be very good on the average. It comes down to the fact that they live in roughly a 1000' long steel pipe under water with a nuclear reactor, high explosives, and on SSBNs a hundred plus nuclear war heads sitting on 24 big honking rockets. Mistakes are very costly in that environment :)

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:35PM (#38014128)
    I have to agree. Submarine sailors often are more technically inclined and generally smarter than your average sailor as they had to qualify for those posts. From what I remember these sailors are often recruited to be placed on submarines from the start. Also there are mental aspects of being underwater for months on end as well as living under an unconventional daily cycle.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant