Civilian Job News recently caught up with Jason Dickie in Boston. The 1996 West Point graduate took some time to speak with us about his transition from the U.S. Army to the civilian workforce. Jason served five years as a field artillery officer in Texas before returning home.
"I just wanted to get back home to Massachusetts," he acknowledged.
In 2001, Officer Dickie transitioned to civilian life, where he began work as a recruiter at a small job placement agency in Boston.
"I talked with [an] old friend and fellow artillery officer who was at JMO recruiter at Bradley-Morris Inc., a national military-to-civilian transition firm." Jason said that he was impressed by what the company was doing for veterans.
During his time as a JMO recruiter, Jason worked with other West Point grads concentrating on placing recruits in pharmaceutical sales careers.
"We were a tight group; the camaraderie was great," he said. Jason also said that his philosophy as a JMO recruiter was to build relationships with the candidates. "Sometimes the prospective candidate and a desired placement just didn't fit, but because of the relationship I built with them, they would often recommend a friend who was looking for a career change."
That's why he would tell any service member about to transition out of the service to work with a recruiter. “Without a doubt, they build a relationship with you and get you into the pipeline.”
In 2003, Jason had a chance meeting with the Sheriff of Norfolk County, Mass., Michael Bellotti. He soon joined the sheriff's office at age 30 as the one of the youngest deputy superintendents of operations. Jason then went on a thorough six-month training tour at other county correctional facilities and attended a correctional officer's academy.
"It wasn't too different from the Officer's Basic Course in the Army," he said.
In 2007, he was promoted to Director of Human Resources for the sheriff's office and currently oversees all aspects of HR for over 300 employees and several hundred retirees; payroll, time and attendance, labor relations, worker's compensation and contract negotiations.
But his Army leadership beliefs still guide him 11 years after leaving the service. “One of my goals is to know what my men need to accomplish in their missions at the facility,” he said. “I want to enhance the correctional officers’ daily life, and let them maintain ownership of their responsibilities.”
Mike Carr served honorably in the United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force. His is a freelance writer for Civilian Job News and former military journalist.