Veteran Employee Story – Lee Smith

Rockwell Collins  |  Veterans Helping Veterans  |

Published in the January/February 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  | 

Lee Smith is a senior recruiter at Rockwell Collins and served in the Marine Corps Reserve for six years, leaving as a sergeant (E-5). Smith is responsible for attracting, screening, and securing talent for the company – and he understands that veterans make great employees. “Veteran employees have a multitude of qualities that make them very valuable to our organization,” he said. “Adaptability, mission focus, ability to work in teams, discipline, and professionalism are just a few of the qualities that I recognize in our veteran employees.”

He also can explain why veterans will enjoy working for the company. “Rockwell Collins is a great fit for veterans for a number of reasons,” Smith said. “First and foremost, Rockwell Collins has an excellent Veteran Employee Network. Created in 2011, the network brings together veterans and veteran supporters for fellowship and community involvement. Additionally, Rockwell Collins was named a finalist for the Wounded Warrior Employment Transition Assistance Award in 2011.”

Smith said he used an important network when he was pursuing his next career step. “I utilized my network of fellow veterans to help me identify vet-friendly employers,” he said. “I focused my career search on companies that I felt would be a good match for my skill set, and utilized my contacts to assist me with getting my foot in the door. I also wrote my resume in a way that was easy for non-military people to read and that highlighted the transferable skills that I gained from my military experience.”

He has some suggestions for anyone looking for a career after leaving the military. “I would certainly advise them to go and get some education to augment their military experience,” Smith said. “Having education and military experience will give them an enormous advantage in a competitive job market.”

“Additionally, I would strongly encourage them to seek out vet-friendly employers, such as Rockwell Collins, and to utilize their military networks to help them get their foot in the door. A certain level of pride is associated with military service, and many veterans are simply too proud to ask a fellow vet for a job referral or reference. In reality, veterans have one of the strongest fellowships in the world, and most will go out of their way to help a fellow veteran.”


About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers