Veterans re-entering society as civilians retain traits that make them valuable to business, chiefly among them the ability to follow orders and the discipline to carry those orders out. Those technical skills don’t hurt, either.
Freedom and Control
The illusion of freedom in civilian life dissolves beneath the reality that lack of a military uniform does not result in an abundance of self-control.
The concept of freedom or independence arises from the desire to control one’s own fate. Self-control requires responsibility, the capability to analyze information without bias, and to make conscious decisions. Self-control means taking responsibility for those decisions and the results those decisions yield. It requires that you take the steps to educate yourself, to develop new skills, learn what’s necessary to serve a new cadre of clientele. Self-control mandates that the one in control take action and persevere to the finish, even if that means adapting the plan of action to handle unanticipated challenges along the way.
Sometimes freedom results from yielding self-control, perhaps for a short time, to give one the reprieve from unrelenting responsibility. However, for those who embody professionalism, freedom embodies two realizations: 1) control over oneself requires discipline, and 2) discipline leads to the fulfillment of responsibility. In the military, you exercised control to discipline yourself to support your unit. In the civilian arena, you must exercise control to discipline yourself to support your company. The venue may change, but the goal remains the same: success for all.
Freedom and Discipline
Once decommissioned, it’s tempting to abandon the self-discipline of military service to wallow self-indulgence, which bodes ill for a productive life and successful career as a civilian. As much as you may need to divorce yourself from a regimented existence, this trait only confers the self-control and discipline necessary to achieve personal freedom.
Whether you work for “the Man” or you are “the Man,” self-discipline requires those same traits that self-indulgence repudiates. Self-discipline demonstrates reliability, necessary for a career as either boss or employee. Management won’t keep a worker upon whom they cannot depend; clients won’t return to a business that lets them down.
Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Through discipline comes freedom.” Jocko Willink, who served as a Navy SEAL for 20 years and co-founded the leadership and management company Echelon Front, discusses the integral connection between discipline and freedom in his book Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. In an interview, he states, “[T]he only way to get to a place of freedom is through discipline. If you want financial freedom, you have to have financial discipline. If you want more free time, you have to follow a more disciplined time management system.”
Freedom and Success
Brave New Man links the discipline of freedom with the concept of success in one eloquent paragraph: “If you have a path that you want to follow, you have to explicitly implement discipline in your life. … And our goals, yes you’ve guessed it, can only be achieved through discipline.”
The marriage of discipline with passion and talent leads to success which then becomes yours to guide and control. As you embark upon a new phase in your life as a civilian, focus what you learned in the military to relearn that lesson you already knew: freedom requires discipline, and discipline requires sacrifice. It doesn’t matter what kind of freedom you seek and the sacrifice may not necessarily be paid in blood. The sacrifice of success will, however, require your life in an intelligent expression of dedication, loyalty, and labor.
About HonorVet Technologies
HonorVet Technologies was established by U.S. military veterans to eradicate the egregious underemployment affecting our military veterans and their spouses by engaging in strategic partnerships with small to large businesses to create meaningful employment for our nation’s heroes.
As a boutique staffing company specializing in IT services, technology, professional services, and light industrial staff augmentation, HonorVet provides turnkey solutions that help businesses attract, select, and retain a quality workforce. With “high touch” expertise, we disrupt customary talent acquisition with advanced recruitment solutions, a unique combination of predictive analysis, artificial intelligence, and sophisticated, robust processes and methodologies to place skilled military veterans in the companies and positions that work to the best advantage of both.