- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

The 2015 Top 40 Under 40 Military
by Heidi Lynn Russell, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: USAA

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Michael Rogers

Marines, Capt

Head of Programs, The Wingman Foundation

The Wingman Foundation provides post-mishap support to the families of fallen Marines, scholarships in memory of fallen Marine, and coordinates a mentorship program for transitioning Marines who have served in Marine aviation. Marine Capt Michael Rogers has been named Head of Programs and will provide oversight. He separated from the Marines in September. While serving, Rogers completed two deployments as a CH-53E helicopter pilot, flying combat missions in Afghanistan and humanitarian aid missions in Japan.

Chris Salinas

Coast Guard, LTJG

Remodeling Consultant for Power Home Remodeling Group, Chester, PA

From July 2012 to April 2015, LTJG Chris Salinas was the Deployable Team Leader with the Coast Guard’s Mobile Training Branch. He helped establish the Saudi Arabian Coast Guard, created a self-sustaining search and rescue small boat driver training program in Mexico and aided Thailand and the Philippines in the establishment of their own autonomous maritime law enforcement training programs. Since August, he’s been a remodeling consultant for Power Home Remodeling Group in Chester, PA.

Jimmy Santos

Air Force, SrA

Law school student, Suffolk University Law School

Former Air Force SrA Jimmy Santos enrolled at Suffolk University Law School, where he is studying International Business Transactions and Dispute Resolution. “I had the opportunity to fly to Europe and take courses from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The opportunity to attend law school and receive instruction from a Supreme Court Justice has been an unbelievable experience,” Santos says. In the Air Force, Santos became a subject matter expert for the newly developed MC-12W Project Liberty Aircraft. He was an instructor and tactician and instructed Signals Intelligence Operators.

Matthew Sexton

Coast Guard, LT

Senior Energy Engineer, Alares LLC in Quincy, MA

Since February, Coast Guard LT Matthew Sexton has been a Senior Energy Engineer at Alares LLC, a design-build construction firm in Quincy, MA. He also was co-founder of Torch Hybrid Marine Systems, which brings hybrid propulsion technology to the mass recreational boating industry. In the Coast Guard, Sexton was Executive Officer. One of his missions was a search and recovery after an overloaded vessel capsized off coast of Haiti with over 50 people. Outside the Coast Guard, Sexton has participated in Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build projects in Miami.

Blair Stellhorn

Marines, Cpl

Operations Director for the MBA Veterans Network

Marine Cpl Blair Stellhorn was the 2008 Marine of the Year and 2008 White House Military Office Military Member of the Year. “I served as a Marine for HMX-1, which is the President’s helicopter squadron. I traveled the world with the President, protecting his helicopters on trips and at home in Virginia,” he says. He graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kineseaology in May 2015. He was most recently the Operations Director for the MBA Veterans Network.

Christine Taranto

Marines, Capt

MBA student, Naval Postgraduate School

Capt Christine Taranto was awarded the U.S. Marine Corps Female Athlete of the Year for 2013. She was a member of the All Marine Corps Triathlon Team in 2013 and 2015. She will complete an MBA in Logistics Management at the Naval Postgraduate School in March 2016. After that, she will earn another MOS as a Material Management Officer. “She has exceptional technical expertise and leadership abilities where she easily outperformed all other company grade officers in the Command,” says her former Squadron Commander, Alfredo Dubois.

Claudia E. Tatum

Army, 2LT

Business Services Professional, the University of Texas at Dallas

Claudia E. Tatum works as a Business Services Professional at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to joining UT Dallas, she was a government contractor in Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. This fall, she is completing a Doctorate of Management, Organizational Development and Change from Colorado Technical University. In the Army as a 2LT, Tatum’s most significant achievements included serving in Korea and Iraq and joining the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, where she served in a lieutenant-level leadership position in an Army National Guard unit.

Jacqueline M. Villanueva

Air Force, MSgt

Aerospace Medical Services Craftsman at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

MSgt Jacqueline M. Villanueva “has developed a stellar reputation as a leader with outstanding military bearing, and is tailor-made for the Air Force,” says Lt Col Kevin Griswold. Villanueva is an Aerospace Medical Services Craftsman at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ. “I have had the honor and privilege of caring for and transporting the wounded and sick U.S. service men and women – as well as coalition partners, civilians, NATO and DOD members – out of harm’s way during humanitarian and contingency operations around the globe,” she says.

Shane K. Villanueva

Air Force, Capt

Network Operations officer at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

Capt Shane Villanueva is assigned to a unit as an Air Advisor, in which he travels to Africa and teaches his job to partner nation militaries. “Most of our work is done on behalf of the State Department, and traveling to these countries has been the most rewarding experience in my career,” he says. Lt Col Scott McKeever says Villanueva is “my number one Flight Commander out of five.” Villanueva recently deployed to Niger and Burkina Faso, bolstering their networking capabilities.

Evan Weaver

Army, CPT

Support Operations Officer/Mobility Chief at Fort Riley, KS

Army CPT Evan Weaver is Support Operations Officer/Mobility Chief at Fort Riley, KS. Since January, his duties have involved coordination with “multiple military and civilian agencies to ensure that the execution of land, sea and air movements reflected the intent and needs of the supported units and the Army.” CPT Patrick J. Engeman selected Evan to be his Executive Officer and deploy early to Afghanistan in 2013. “His discipline, interpersonal tact and ability to communicate lead to him being selected to become the battalion battle captain,” Engeman says.

Kyle White

Marines, SSgt

Senior Associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers

From 2003 to 2015, Marine SSgt Kyle White served in various support billets, including some as a special operations enabler, for elite commands such as Marine Special Operations Battalion and Marine Force Reconnaissance. This spring, White transitioned to corporate America, finding work as a consultant (Senior Associate) for the prestigious Fortune 500 firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Upon landing this position late last year, the 501(c)(3), American Corporate Partners, awarded him a “Protege Spotlight” and currently hosts his story on their website.







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