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The Top 40 Under 40 Military Class of 2012

by Heidi Russell Rafferty, Contributing Editor

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Article sponsored by URS

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Esprit de corps, combined with a determination to assume roles of leadership and compassionate service, centrally define the CivilianJobs.com Top 40 Under 40 Military honorees in 2012.

Each year, CivilianJobs.com gives a nod to military service members that are set apart from the rest. Again this year, the slate of nominees didn’t disappoint.

Review the bios of the Top 40 Under 40 Military at the following links:

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Here are some highlights:

Top 40 Under 40 Military Class of 2012NASA astronaut candidate and Navy LT Kyle Kobold “decided to serve in the U.S. military in order to seek adventure and to be a part of something larger than myself,” he says. Kobold is Strategic Weapons Officer on the USS Henry M. Jackson submarine. His most significant achievements include completing nuclear power school, earning submarine dolphins, being placed in charge of a nuclear submarine as the Officer of the Deck, completing Navy SCUBA school and working with Navy SEALs for 2 1/2 years. He’s a “bedrock leader,” says his former Commanding Officer, CPT Scott C. Swehla.

“I had complete confidence in Kyle’s abilities to lead his division and direct the ship through complicated nuclear evolutions or the most demanding secret mission. He never let me down and continues his drive for excellence in his pursuit as a Naval Astronaut,” Swehla says.

Whether military service members take the skills that they learned in the military and pursue travels among the stars, as Kyle has, or transition to roles on terra firma within corporate America, there is no question that military leadership can translate into civilian success. Perhaps even in a CEO role. And it seems military-experienced CEOs will be in demand more than ever before.

According to a paper written by former Harvard Professor of Economics Efraim Benmelech (now Associate Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management) and MIT Associate Professor Carola Frydman, the number of military-experienced CEOs of publicly-held companies has dropped from 59 percent to just 8 percent since 1980. But their impact on private industry can be significant: “CEOs who have served in the military tend to have lower investments; their firms are less likely to be involved in fraud; and they seem to perform better in times of industry distress.”

Some of the Top 40 Under 40 Military take their skills into the public sector rather than in private enterprise. Army 1st LT Carrie Papproth is a public health nurse at the Defense Information Systems Agency in Fort Meade, MD, and active drilling Reservist. Her focus is suicide prevention, PTSD and military sexual trauma, and she is working on a dissertation project involving PTSD.

“In my civilian career as an occupational health nurse manager for a federal government agency, I have been privileged to be on hand for employees when they’ve needed me most, in life threatening emergencies.” Papproth says.

And then, sometimes it’s what is not said that says everything about the “Top 40 Under 40” winners.

Special Forces Army SSG Christopher Ellis is reluctant to discuss the details of his achievements in covert missions and three deployments to Afghanistan. But his colleague Nick B. Tran, who served alongside him, says, “There are times in combat that a man is overcome with fear, and the defining factor that separates true men from those lesser is the ability to push through and forward, despite that fear. That is the definition of courage and Chris has proven that on more than one occasion,” Tran says.

The Top 40 Under 40 Military issue would not be possible without the hard work of an extended team at Civilian Job News, not the least of which includes the panel of distinguished judges:

- William W. Basnett, Brigadier General (Retired), USAFR, past Commander of the 94th Tactical Airlift Wing (TAW), Past President and Membership Director for the Reserve Officers Association (ROA)

- Steve Clarke, Captain (Retired), USN, President of Strategic Performance Group, Inc.

- Kenneth A. Konstanzer, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), USAR, Aviation. Chairman, U.S. Service Academy Selection Board for the Office of U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss and Congressman Tom Graves, past Commander, U.S. Military Academy Admissions Field Force, State of Georgia.

- David M. Thompson, Colonel (RET), USMC, currently Project Manager for AC FIRST in Afghanistan, former USMC Battalion Commander in Iraq and Deputy Logistics Director in Afghanistan and Iraq, civilian experience with Frito Lay and General Mills.

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Heidi Russell is a freelance writer/editor.

 

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