Veteran Employee Story – Edward Sileo

Broward Sheriff’s Office

Purpose, Mission, Camaraderie

Published in the November/December 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®

Edward Sileo is a lieutenant in the criminal investigations division of the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Florida. He oversees more than 120 personnel, and supervises activities pertaining to crime scenes, the crime lab, sexual predators, career offenders, and technology issues related to criminal investigations.

Sileo has also been in the Air Force Reserve for 17 years, serving as a master sergeant and as the non-commissioned officer in charge of security forces training. His military duty has taken him to Iraq twice, El Salvador, and Kyrgyzstan. He was also mobilized to help with the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Sileo thinks that having an early chance to be a leader in the military has helped him succeed in the civilian world. “The military is one of the very few places where a very young person will become a supervisor over a diverse group of people with an extreme variation in demographics, background, and values or upbringing,” Sileo said, “and the consequences of failure can have dire repercussions.” This background enables military personnel to deal effectively with situations that most people will never confront in their lifetimes. “In day-to-day interaction with the general populace, this experience is a must and is highly sought after by law-enforcement agencies nationwide.”

A drive to learn is also important. “Be relentless in pursuit of formal education,” said Sileo. “BSO encourages continued education for employees through our training programs and college reimbursement programs.”

However, not all of that learning takes place in a classroom. “The non-teachable skills of fair, honest, and equitable personal interaction with persons of all backgrounds cannot be ignored,” Sileo said. “I don’t believe you will find that training available anywhere else.”

Being professional – and not taking things personally – is another key to success in the military and in the civilian world. “The military is always professional, never personal,” he said. “It can’t be personal. Too many people and critical resources are dependent upon the professionalism and integrity of the military member. Attitudes of ‘work first, then play’ and ‘do it right, do it now, do it right now’ are drilled in, so the military work ethic is without reproach. Personal traits of integrity and teamwork parlay perfectly into a business, and the ‘way of life’ of military people usually results in those people leading or at least helping along any organization in an attempt to bring the organization and its personnel from good to great.”

Sileo said that veteran job seekers need to help civilian employers understand how valuable military service can be. “Don’t expect to be hired just because you are a veteran,” he said. “Rather, explain to the employer all those qualities that you bring to the table because of your military service.”

Being your own champion is important, but make sure the hiring organization understands how you can help it succeed. “Be proud of your achievements, but not boastful,” Sileo said. “Educate those that may not know how effective you can be for their organization and why. Show how your experiences can offer leadership, professionalism, and integrity in all you will ever do for the employer.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers