24-year Marine veteran says the service taught him to “never be outworked in anything.”
After 24 years of serving in the Marines, Doug Turner has returned to civilian life and is helping to connect other veterans with employment and career opportunities. Turner retired from the Marines in May of 2014 as a First Sergeant, and has joined the staff of RecruitMilitary’s military relations/candidate services department.
The most valuable skills Turner learned during his service still serve him well today. “I was taught humility, understanding people, and to never be outworked in anything,” he noted. It’s those intangible skills that should make hiring a veteran an easy decision for any employer. “We have what companies are looking for in their employees: leadership, experience, grace under pressure, integrity, pride, self-confidence, and humility. We are mission-oriented, mature, and able to work as a team.”
Originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Turner attended Dean College with the goal of becoming a teacher. However, his father’s early death at age 51 changed his path. “I was forced to grow up and change my life,” he said. “I wanted to make a difference and help my mother with her finances, so I decided to take the biggest challenge in my life: I joined the United States Marine Corps.”
Turner’s career also took him all over the world, including Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. As the Command Sergeant Major in Germany, he helped prepare the Georgian 31st Light Infantry Battalion for their pending deployment to Afghanistan and received the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Award with Star. He was also deployed to South Korea in 2014 as an Infantry Company First Sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, mentoring and training the South Korean Marines.
During his enlistment, Turner worked in a variety of fields, including corrections, recruiting, as an equal opportunity representative, family readiness officer, and family advocacy representative. He also holds several instructor certifications. His last tour in the Marine Corps was as an Infantry Company First Sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Turner is quick to point out that he had guidance as he pursued his career in the Marines. “First Sergeant Luke Mercardante was a young Marine that I worked with early in my career who I came across later in the Marine Corps. He gave me a chance as a Company Gunnery Sergeant and as the First Sergeant in the Military Police Company. I told him that I wasn’t ready for such a big job, but he assured me that I was. He gave me a chance, and he was a great leader and mentor. He passed away in Afghanistan after one day in country, and I have been trying to fulfill his legacy since that time. Always give someone an opportunity. There is no such thing as good luck; good luck happens when opportunity meets preparation,” he said.
Turner is excited about his next chapter. “I have tried to make a difference during my time in the Marines, and I want to continue doing that in the civilian world and with other veterans. I love the fact that people shake my hand and thank me for my service.” In his new role with RecruitMilitary, he helps to build and support relationships with individuals and groups from all branches that impact transitioning military, National Guard, reserves, and other veterans seeking employment or new opportunities. He also attracts and informs veteran job candidates about career opportunities found in RecruitMilitary’s magazine, Search and Employ®, database, and All-Veterans Career Fairs scheduled around the country.
But Turner says his greatest accomplishment is his 21-year marriage and his three children, two of whom are in college. “If I can be successful, then anyone can be successful,” he said.
How Turner landed his current job:
“My wife told me about an Opportunity Expo sponsored by RecruitMilitary in May 2014. I attended it, and met John Lundberg from RecruitMilitary in the hallway. I recognized that I had worked with him about 15 years ago. I had a plan to talk to a bunch of companies but was pulled away by RecruitMilitary. I had five interviews within one hour, and on the day I received my DD214 and went on terminal leave, I received a job offer from RecruitMilitary.”
Turner’s advice to other veterans who are looking to make a career change:
- Have humility when looking for a job and don’t ever give up, but take an opportunity when you are presented with one.
- Leave your ego at the door.
- Network, network, network.
- Your appearance and the way you present yourself are very important.
- Nothing will be handed to you. You have to present yourself well and sell yourself.
- Work on your resume and translate it to civilian speak.