- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Achieving a Higher Rank After the Military

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Article Sponsored by: Saladmaster

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When Travis ‘TC’ McNeil retired from active military duty, he had a lot of things to consider. He needed to find a new direction for his career that would allow him to provide for his family.

In high school, TC liked to stay three steps ahead so he always had a backup plan to ensure he would achieve his goals. He was active in football and a variety of sports. Originally, he thought about pursuing a football career. If he didn’t do that, he was also interested in owning a restaurant, or possibly joining the military.

As fate would have it, TC joined the U.S. Army Reserves while still in high school, only to learn he also received a football scholarship to Fayetteville University in North Carolina. In 2005, TC transferred to East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, but before football season began, he was deployed to active duty in Iraq at the young age of 19.

While in the military, TC performed in a variety of roles. He started as an HR administrator, but reclassified as a medic due to his passion for helping others. A month before he was scheduled to return home, TC’s military base was attacked, and TC was knocked into a wall injuring his back. TC remained on active duty for more than eight years, earning several awards, medals and accolades, but his military career ended abruptly in 2013 when TC was discharged for medical reasons and at age 28, TC found himself unexpectedly starting over.

He had a little money saved up and considered opening a restaurant or going back to school to pursue a medical degree. But medical school was costly and the number of years it would take was prohibitive for the father of three. Going back to school just wasn’t feasible at the time.

About a year prior to leaving active military duty, TC and his wife, Shenita, attended a Saladmaster cooking show in the home of a friend. He was very impressed with the cookware and the business plan where you can be in business for yourself, and in 2012, TC and his wife decided to start their own Saladmaster business.

‘My medical and human resources roles were focused on helping others to further their careers and with their health. My desire to make a difference and to be able to inspire positive change in the hearts and minds of the people around me made Saladmaster a natural fit,’ said TC.

When TC retired from active duty, he had been with Saladmaster for about 10 months, and he had already achieved the status of Distributor, the last step required before achieving Authorized Saladmaster Dealer status. He went on to say, ‘The only challenge I faced came from learning new marching orders, but the hands-on instruction, training programs and overwhelming support from the Saladmaster team gave me everything I needed to accomplish my goals.’

Saladmaster’s military recruitment program was developed to cultivate new Dealers, which is especially helpful for program-oriented military personnel who are used to working in teams, leading and developing leaders.

‘Saladmaster is an opportunity for you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself and allows you to use the leadership skills you developed while in the military. We offer excellent income potential and complete training at the same time you are helping others,’ said Shirley Loutzenhiser, Vice President of Dealer Expansion.

‘Saladmaster has provided so many benefits to me, and my family,’ observed TC. ‘Time is a huge one because life is short. I mostly work in the evenings, which is great because I’m able to be involved with raising my kids during the day and this is how I choose to run my business. My wife and my kids help me, and I love that, it means so much to be able to be together and have a family business.’

Saladmaster is devoted to helping our military personnel as they transition to civilian life. Become a Saladmaster Dealer and see what extraordinary things you can accomplish.

For more information please visit or contact Shirley Loutzenhiser, at or (440) 725-2865.

Return to November/December 2015 Issue