Friends, family, readers – finally, it’s national Dusty’s New Career Signing Day…I have selected a job at an amazing company that I feel is exactly what I’ve been looking for.


I was fortunate to receive a phone call from a recruiter who found my resume on Linked In.  After an informal call, a screening, and on-site visit to San Bernardino, they provided me with an offer to be an Operations Manager.  Pretty sweet and exciting gig.

You read that right.  It’s not a flying job.  Make no mistake, I still love flying.  I decided to explore other options and leave with the awesome memories I had while supporting those in uniform from the air.  Besides, with the current trajectory of Amazon, maybe I’ll just buy my own plane and let Katie (@gearupflapsup) fly me around.

My situation however is probably different than a lot of other Marines/service members when they get out.  The transition back to civilian life is stressful, even for a kicked back type of guy like me.  Now that it’s all said and done, I can reflect on a few things:

1) The military directed transition training (TRS) – yeah, no help at all.  Mandatory time suck.

2) Organizations like American Corporate Partners, Onward-2-Opportunity, tons of other non-profit organizations (sorry I didn’t name all that have helped me) and every person who volunteers their time to support transitioning service members THANK YOU.  The support from the civilian side is overwhelming and well worth the engagement for both sides.

3) Networking, especially through Linked In, is clutch.

4) When asked to provide three strengths, don’t use – “hard working, alpha male, jackhammer, merciless, insatiable”

If anyone desires to hear one man’s opinion on how to land their next career on the “outside”, I’m not an expert, but I’ll share my tale (dustyleecook(at)