Army veteran encourages education, saying, “Civilians care nothing about you jumping out of a plane, but the letters behind your name hold weight.”
Sergeant Camilla Gore Hull knew that joining United States Army would prepare her for a brighter future. “I was a young, single parent and refused to be a statistic. I married the father of my child and joined the military to obtain funds for college and to gain work experience,” she explained.
Her father retired from the Army, and Hull served for eight years from 1989 – 1997 as a surgical technician, and an instructor of DepMed equipment. Her assignments took her to Belgium and Germany, and included a deployment with the 2nd MASH from Ft. Benning as part of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. “The military taught me to believe in myself, to constantly set goals, and to never become complacent,” Hull said.
One of the most valuable skills she learned during her service was becoming CPR trained at any early age. “It gave me a sense of responsibility and instilled in me the importance of continued education,” she said.
When it came time for her to re-enter the civilian world, Hull turned to job fairs to hone in on a career. Her biggest challenge in looking for a civilian job was deciding exactly where she wanted to be. “But being a veteran provided me with a head start,” she said. “Veterans possess a sense of loyalty. We make good employees; we are proficient in making decisions, have a strong work ethic, and are flexible.”
Hull landed her current role as HSE Coordinator for Cummins Power South at a RecruitMilitary career fair in Atlanta. Today she handles workers compensation claims and provides safety training for employees while ensuring the company complies with OSHA regulations. “RecruitMilitary was very helpful in providing me information about job fairs and including reminders about the events. They assisted me in finding a career – not just a job,” she said.
Veterans who are transitioning or seeking new careers can do several things to get ready, according to Hull:
- Maximize your GI Bill benefits. “Obtain as much education as you can with the GI Bill, so that your student loans will be decreased if you should choose to seek further education. I made the mistake of allowing mine to expire before I used them all, which caused me to pay out of pocket for my master’s degree.”
- Sign up to learn. This means taking advantage of any education and certification opportunities.“Civilians care nothing about you jumping out of a plane, but the letters behind your name hold weight.”
- Give your resume a revamp. “Use professionals that are proficient in preparing them for veterans.”
- Hit the fairs. “Career fairs may seem overwhelming. Believe in yourself, and attend them prepared for an on-site interview,” she encouraged.