CivilianJobNews.com - The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

What is the Top 40 Under 40 Military?

By Heidi Russell Rafferty, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: URS

When Civilian Jobs News began the process of creating the Top 40 Under 40 Military, the publication was navigating largely uncharted waters. “There are some civilian recognition programs that are similar to the ‘Top 40 Under 40 Military’, but Civilian Job News wanted to create one specifically for service members,” says Publisher Bill Basnett. Giving a nod to outstanding veterans goes hand-in-hand with another CJN kudos program, Most Valuable Employers for Military®.

Top 40 Under 40 Military


“CJN recognizes top employers of military, and we wanted to endeavor to recognize top military employees as well,” Basnett says.

“We had a great review panel of retired military officers to help us determine the initial class of ‘Top 40 Under 40 for Military.’” This year’s panel includes: 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, Past Special Assistant, Chief of Navy Reserve, President of Strategic Performance Group, Inc.; and Kenneth A. Konstanzer, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), USAR, Aviation, Chairman, U.S. Service Academy Selection Board for the Office of U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Past Commander, U.S. Military Academy Admissions Field Force, State of Georgia.


So who are these “Top 40 Under 40 Military”?

They come from all ranks and backgrounds. They have gone from patriotic military service to practicing business with panache.

They are submarine mechanics and Navy SEALs. They’re Army press agents for top generals and new FBI agents. They’ve overseen convoys through hostile Iraqi terrain and orchestrated the movements of multi national forces through Egypt and Israel. They’ve managed air strips, trained Iraqi troops and even have segued from a ship’s engine room to the courtroom.

They’re entrepreneurs, project managers, IT professionals, construction supervisors, big-box retail managers. They volunteer with victims’ advocate offices, mentor students and help homeless veterans on the streets of Las Vegas.

But despite the variances in lifestyles, military careers and civilian job choices, all of them share one thing in common: They receive the highest praise for jobs well done, integrity and service completed with honor and respect.

References describe these people as “the son or brother I didn’t have,” and as those with “a drive and determination” that is certain to take them far in life.

“There is no way we could recognize every deserving military-experienced employee,” Basnett says. “CJN is a tool to help military-experienced personnel find a civilian job after their term of service. Therefore, we decided to use one of the best practices of the military to civilian job search, professional networking, as part of the nominating process. It is important to have a good online professional profile, and that’s one of the components that weighted heavily as we narrowed down the nominees.”

Freelancer Heidi Russell Rafferty is a reporter with 19 years of experience who writes about employment and business issues.

Return to November/December 2010 Issue