When I decided to join the U.S. Navy over 10 years ago, there was not much thought into what my future held after active-duty enlistment. Coming from a family of service members, I felt the same calling and served four years aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, working on F-18 generators, and traveling all over the world. The experience filled me with pride to serve my country, and once active duty ended, I transitioned to the U.S. Navy Reserve to still have the ability to serve in some capacity while giving myself the opportunity to focus on furthering my career by earning my bachelor’s degree. Since then, I’ve worked in a variety of roles that range from working for a defense contractor to talent acquisition within the finance industry. Every role guided me to find my true interest in Financial Crimes Risk Management Investigations and Reporting.

Looking back from where I am today, my decision to join the military laid a foundation that I was able to firmly build upon in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Though the transition from active duty wasn’t the easiest, I was able to use the skills and tools I learned during that time to embark on a growing career within the civilian workforce. Today, there are three values that I cultivated during my time serving that I apply every day in my professional and personal life.

1. Teamwork

Camaraderie is an integral part of anyone’s military experience, from mission execution to overall unit morale. Strong relationships, clear communication, and an orderly approach to a mission or task can be applied to any team and is equally important in the civilian workforce as it is in the military. A team’s ability to work together plays a major role in the efficiency and ability to get the job done without delays or complications. I have applied this mentality to every team I’ve been a part of, both military and civilian. Regardless of my team’s background or knowledge level, I make it a point to foster a relationship with my colleagues to understand their strengths and weaknesses to work effectively toward our objective.

2. Discipline

Discipline is a value engrained into every service member regardless of branch. Good order and discipline ensure that we maintain our effectiveness as a force and as individuals, and it gives us the ability to be ready at a moment’s notice. The strong sense of self-discipline the military has instilled in me has positively impacted my ability to carry out commitments I make to myself and others, make rational decisions, and take responsibility for my actions. That level of discipline did not end when I took the uniform off full time, as I have applied it in every aspect of my life with whatever endeavor I set off on.

3. Courage

As one of the Navy’s core values, courage is the moral, physical, and mental strength that helps a sailor see themselves through the abundance of challenges they will face during their military tenure. Courage is instilled in us long before military service, but that foundation is strengthened during that time. Having the courage to do what’s right, to make tough decisions, take on a difficult task, or face difficult circumstances has gotten me through my military career as well as my personal life as a parent, spouse, daughter, and friend.

From experience, I know I’m not alone in believing these values help guide growing careers. By joining Employees Who Serve at The Bancorp, I have connected with other colleagues who have served and found that regardless of our military backgrounds and experiences, there are many parallels that can be drawn. As my career within the financial sector continues, I hope to have the opportunity to connect with more veterans who are following a similar path.

To service members who are entering into civilian life or anticipating the transition, I encourage you to take stock of your skillset and seek opportunities that create fulfilling and meaningful work. Be mindful that everyone’s path looks different, so it’s important to be adaptable as you navigate the road ahead. By utilizing the courage, discipline, and teamwork that was instilled during service, you have the keys to success to
unlock your future.