Veteran Employee Story – Joshua Gisi

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Courage, Professionalism, Honor

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

Among the best and brightest in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department IMPD) is Sergeant Joshua Gisi, a supervisor for the East District Middle Shift Crime Reduction Team, a SWAT team operator, and SWAT Team/Explosive Breaching Unit Supervisor. Gisi served in the Marine Corps Reserve for eight years, and he currently contributes to the Army Reserve in the Military Intelligence branch. He is a 1st Lieutenant and a platoon leader, and he also serves as the unit’s physical fitness officer, safety officer, equal opportunity officer, and sexual harassment/sexual assault prevention victim advocate.

Gisi has been with the IMPD for 11 years. He was a Marine Reservist when he joined the department. In 2004, when he was an IMPD patrol officer, the Marines deployed him to the Al Anbar Province of Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. He left the Corps as a sergeant.

“My supervisors and fellow officers helped to accommodate my military responsibilities,” he said. “They have utilized my experience, and recognized my military skill sets.”

Gisi’s military experience gave him the confidence that all successful police officers need. “Although my experience was college, then a civilian job, then a Reserve Marine, becoming a Marine helped me with getting my first job in law enforcement,” he said. “Particularly the confidence in myself and my abilities. I had been tested and challenged by my time in the Marine Corps, and knew I could accomplish anything if I set my mind to it.”

But confidence was not the only thing he learned in the military. “Based on my experience, I have been able to better deal with the adversity of my present job, operate in extreme environments under stress and under some sleep deprivation as well,” Gisi said. “I have been introduced to proper leadership and understand how its importance at the lowest level is crucial to the success of an organization – and have brought that mindset with me to my department.”

Being able to adapt to anything is also something Gisi picked up while serving his country. “Military service teaches you the ability to adapt to your circumstances and this can be a huge benefit in the global world we live in, with rapidly changing events,” he said. “Organizational skills learned in the military have enhanced my abilities in every position I’ve held in my department. Specifically, with the Marine Corps, I learned to do more with less and improvise.”

He said that the IMPD is a great place for veterans to work because they are used to being successful, both on their own and as a team. “The independent nature of our work is well suited for veterans who are accustomed to being given general orders and going further without a great deal of supervision,” he said.

His advice to servicemembers thinking about leaving the military and looking for civilian employment is to find a career that utilizes what they learned in the service. “I would suggest servicemembers consider the military occupation they are working in and look to see what outside in the civilian sector may have the same necessary skill set,” Gisi said. “Network within your MOS, cross-level into other MOS’s as well if you realize yours is too specific or has little civilian application. Most importantly, be the best at what you do and you’ll be attractive to civilian employers no matter what.”
Looking at the bigger picture is also important. “Keep your options open. Look at stair steps to the job or career you may really want instead of holding out for the dream job,” he said. “Most organizations will see your worth better once you’re on the inside than from an initial interview.”

Patience is also a key. “Stay focused on your goal,” Gisi said. “Use the confidence and bearing you’ve learned in your service to impress your ability on the interviewers. Maintain your physical fitness, and be patient.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers