By: Jessica McPherson, Synthetic Environement Coordinator
Why Finding A Role In Government Contracting Feels Like Home To Prior-Service Members
If you took a moment to look up the Army’s Values, you’d find “Duty” with a description stating “…fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take ‘shortcuts’ that might undermine the integrity of the final product.” In the Air Force, one of the three Core Values is “Excellence in All We Do.” Similarly, the Navy and Marine Corps describe “Commitment” as “exhibiting the highest degree of moral character, professional excellence, quality, and competence in all that I do.”
The idea of being, pursuing, and settling for nothing less than excellence is engrained in every service member from the moment they take their oath. This mentality can make it difficult to find a place of belonging in the civilian world, where jobs are often just jobs and mediocrity is widely accepted by the whole. That’s why positions in government contracting feel like such a “good fit” to veterans.
Government contracting plays a vital role in accomplishing the military’s mission. Whether in security, training, technical support, or various integrated positions, contractors fill gaps in manning and provide a service and product to the units they support. Contracting positions create a certain feeling of closeness to the mission of defending and protecting our country and the men, women, and children within it. These sorts of feelings evoke pride and fulfillment from all contractors across the board, but especially for those potentially missing those feelings post-service.
I can tell you the above is true because I have lived it firsthand. As a prior-service member, the transition from the military to the civilian world was harder mentally than I had anticipated. It was not a matter of “could I find work,”as there is always work to be done. But, it was a matter of “could I find work that mattered?” For eight years, I never had to question whether or not what I was doing made a difference. Upon taking the oath of enlistment, I immediately knew I was serving something much bigger than myself. Every piece of equipment I serviced, every plane I inspected, and every parachute I rigged was a promise to keep someone alive, safe…and that mattered very much.
But, leaving the service left a void within me and I actually worried that I might not have real job satisfaction ever again. A sense of “spinning my wheels” lingered, and I knew I needed to do more. Finding a position in government contracting, specifically with VectorCSP, made me feel at home again in the working world and brought back my sense of purpose. The company website states, “our employees represent our core values and work hard every day to make a positive difference for our government customers. Through VectorCSP, they are able to continue to support our country’s most important homeland and defense missions.” If that does not just call to a veteran, I do not know what could.
Here at Cannon AFB, 16 out of 19 VectorCSP employees are prior-service members. Going above and beyond for our customers is just what we do; it is what we have always done. Like our company’s slogan “Exceeding Expectations,”providing the highest quality of service to the men and women of our military is something that just feels natural.
The services government contracting provides to our military is easily apparent and can be backed by data and statistics, but they also provide belonging and sense of duty to veterans. And while that is not as easily quantifiable, it is easily as important.