How Can Vets Translate Military Skills to Civilian Careers

How Can Vets Translate Military Skills to Civilian CareersChad Storlie holds an MBA and is the Director of Interline Equipment and Equipment Management of Union Pacific Railroad’s Car Management department. In addition to his job with Union Pacific, the Nebraskan is an adjunct marketing instructor in Creighton University’s Heider College of Business and has taught Principles of Marketing since 2005. He loves working with Creighton students: “One of the great joys that I get with Creighton students is that they want to know how to balance the challenges of running a business that is good for customers, profitable, good for employees and good for the surrounding community.”


Prior to taking these civilian positions, Storlie served as a U.S. Army Special Forces Officer with 20 years of experience in the infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. Today, one of his primary passions is helping vets translate and apply their military skills to find success in real world careers. For Storlie, the reasons that veterans have a difficult time finding jobs after military service is threefold: They apply military experience to civilian employment without modification, they lack career planning and only apply with online or mass applications, and they don’t employ their military experiences and training as a valuable leverage point for career success.


Storlie has published several books on the relationship between military experience and the business sector. In both and , he provides useful, real-world advice. The Midwest Leader said that Combat Leader to Corporate Leader is a “pick for any military veteran unsure about how to apply military training and experience to the business world. It teaches all veterans and nonmilitary professionals how to use these skills effectively to solve business problems … Very highly recommended for business and military libraries alike.”


Storlie’s mission is helping veterans realize that their skills, passions, and dreams can be realized outside the military, but sometimes, they just need the right advice to begin. There are certainly plenty of connections between the military and the business world, and the same rings true for the manufacturing industry. If you’re a veteran thinking, “Well, that all sounds great–but how do I get started?”, we have a few recommendations.


First, take a look at a manufacturing employer that you might be interested in. Learn a little bit about them, what they do, and how they do it. Many large employers host “military skills translator” search engines that can help you define concrete skills to add to a resume. CNH Industrial, a manufacturer with a Grand Island, Nebraska, plant, offers a translator where vets can enter their job titles, pay grade and training to receive equivalencies for open positions with the manufacturer. hosts a similar engine for jobs in their company, as does .


At the end of the day, veteran job placements rely on finding a match with a manufacturer who appreciates the specific and important skills that military servicemen and women learn. Thanks to Nebraskan advocates like Storlie and manufacturers dedicated to hiring those who have served our country, there’s more support for veteran job-seekers than ever before.


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