Burt Hillman, a retired Air Force E-9, is one of many veterans who have embarked on successful second careers with U.S. Security Associates. During Hillman’s 26-plus years in the service, his experience and responsibilities included 10 years in security, 14 years in education and training, and 10 years in fuels management.
Hillman joined USA in 2011, when the company was seeking a quality assurance manager for a major oil account. Hillman’s military experience was a great fit. USA soon expanded his responsibilities, appointing him director of safety for the company’s national accounts. Within a year, he advanced to assistant district manager in North Houston. Today, he continues to serve as a major oil client’s quality assurance manager and as national accounts director of safety; and he oversees more than 750 security officers and manages client relations for the North Houston branch.
According to Hillman, military skill sets are useful in any endeavor. Hundreds of hours of professional development and experience in managing and leading others have helped him in every civilian job he has had.
While he was in the service, Hillman earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “I would encourage everyone to pursue a higher education,” he said.
Hillman finds that military attitudes and ways of life are applicable in security services. In the military, family comes first. Meeting family needs clears away obstacles and distractions that might interfere with the mission. In contract security services, the “family” is both the client and the security force. Leaders who recognize that the people come first are the ones who run the most successful security operations.
Hillman believes that USA is a good place for veterans because the employees have much in common. “Many of my associates are retired or former military or have extensive backgrounds in law enforcement,” he said. “They have the same approach and mentality I was used to in meeting mission requirements and taking care of the people.”
Hillman recommends that transitioning military personnel target their resumes for civilian opportunities, make sure they apply for positions with companies they really want to work with, and saturate the market with their resumes. He also suggests that men and women leaving the military take advantage of opportunities to network, including job fairs and social media networking tools.
He invites transitioning and veteran military who are interested in working at U.S. Security Associates to walk through the door and put in an application. “When you present yourself as well as veteran military do, you go to the front of the line at U.S. Security Associates,” he said.