Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition

Segment #1: Benefits of hiring veterans

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Why should you hire a veteran?

Here are a few reasons: They possess great leadership skills. They take initiative. They assume responsibility. They’re creative.

That’s according to Dan Dougherty, vice president of the federal division at EMC Corp. His company has hired many veterans, some after just a few years in the military, perhaps with recent combat experience; others who have reached flag officer rank. Dougherty reports, the experience with these men and women has been positive.

John Custer, EMC’s director of federal strategic missions, says veterans have just the right blend of talents, expertise and life experience needed by today’s companies. He’s a good example, being a retired Army major general.

Hiring vets is one thing. Retaining them and making sure they thrive both for their own and company’s benefit requires planning.

Dougherty says EMC has had success using several techniques. These include providing in-house mentors, following up with hires to make sure they get the required training, and forming veterans’ circles for mutual support.

Veterans, too, should do their homework. It can start even while they’re in the service. Retired Rear Admiral Mike Brown is vice president and general manager of EMC’s RSA’s division. He and other veterans say it’s important to self-assess, take stock of your strengths and areas of improvement, and know what you want to do and what you’d be good at.

Listen to the discussion for other ideas on conducting a successful program of recruiting, hiring, and creating success with veterans.

Moderator: Tom Temin – Host of The Federal Drive, Federal News Radio


Major General USA® John M. Custer – Director of EMC’s Federal Strategic Missions and Programs
Michael Brown, Rear Admiral– United States Navy (Retired) is Vice President and General Manager of RSA Federal Business, The Security Division of EMC
Daniel Dougherty – Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division
Greg Muhlner – Former Navy Lt Commander, EMC Federal Account Rep

Michael Brown, Tom Temin, Daniel Dougherty, John Custer, Greg Muhlner

Major General USA® John M. Custer is the Director of EMC’s Federal Strategic Missions and Programs. Custer has more than three decades of government experience with intelligence, secure communications architectures, information technology and surveillance operations. As Director of Intelligence for US Central Command he supervised intelligence operations in twenty-seven nations across the Middle East and oversaw all ISR operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and the remainder of the Middle East.

Michael Brown, Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Retired) is Vice President and General Manager of RSA Federal Business, The Security Division of EMC. He reports to Tom Heiser, President of RSA. Brown joined RSA after a career of more than 31 years in the United States Navy. During his career, he had significant leadership positions within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security regarding cybersecurity. Brown’s last position on active duty was as the Director, Cybersecurity Coordination for DHS where he was responsible for increasing interdepartmental collaboration in strategic planning.

Daniel Dougherty is the Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division. Dougherty is responsible for the general management of EMC Corporation’s Federal Business Division. In his role, he provides leadership and vision to the federal team, government contractors and partners, and federal system integrators.

Greg Muhlner was a former US Navy Lieutenant Commander and is currently the Senior Account Executive for EMC. Muhlner currently focuses on the Navy business in the National Capital Region for EMC. He was a Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Officer, serving 11 years in Southeast and Southwest Asia, to include participation in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom.