- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Kaiser Permanente: The Junior Military Officer (JMO) Program

by Janet Farley, Contributing Editor

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Benefits Beyond the Obvious

It turns out that there are other intrinsic benefits of the JMO Program, too.

“We, as a workforce that includes veterans, exist to provide affordable, high quality health care services and to improve the health of our members and communities and that includes the veteran demographic as well,” said Williams.

In other words, employing veterans allows Kaiser Permanente to better understand veterans and their health care needs.

That’s a good thing, don’t you think?

Additionally, the JMO Program seems to be doing its part to minimize the ever-present military and civilian culture gap.

“I have overheard others, who had no prior exposure to the military or who were naysayers admit that they are true believers as they now see the level of experience and the type of talent that the military produces,” said Williams.

According to Williams, the program is simply a win-win.

”Hiring veterans and understanding their needs is essential to Kaiser Permanente. It aligns with our overall mission and our historical roots,” said Williams.

“We hire veterans because they add value to our workforce. It’s also the right thing to do after they have sacrificed their time and talent to protect our great nation,” said Williams.

What the Associates Have to Say

The inaugural members of the JMO Program appear to be highly satisfied with their new civilian jobs as well.

“I always wanted to work with a large health care group in a hospital,” said Jonathan Haydock, a former Captain in the Nevada Army National Guard who worked as a medical operations officer.

“Kaiser Permanente is a wonderful organization. It is second to none as far as employee satisfaction goes,” said Isaac Hurley, a former nurse, clinic manager, and patient evacuation coordinator in the U.S. Navy.

The rest, it would seem, is history in the making as these two veterans, along with six others use their previous work experiences to solve complex problems, develop and execute objectives and demonstrate their abilities to contribute to business goals.

Tips for Your Military-to-Civilian Transition

”Start the transition process as soon as possible because you really need that time to transition your mindset, too,” said Haydock.
“As a job seeker, you have to know how to translate the military lingo to civilian lingo,” said Haydock.

“If you told me that you were a battalion training officer, I would understand what that means having served in uniform myself. Civilian employers, however, don’t get that you may have supervised more than 600 employees unless you tell them so specifically,” said Haydock.

“It may help you to translate what you’ve done in the military by expanding on the military bullet format or just go to grad school. That’s what helped me learn how to communicate differently,” he said.

Translating lingo is one challenge. Transitioning into the civilian culture is another.

“It can be a huge transition to go to working only 40 hours a week, having weekends off, and experiencing zero deployments and no family separations,” said Haydock.

It also helps to be ready in other ways for your military-to-civilian transition.

“Budget for your transition. It could be a months or even a year before you find the right job,” said Haydock.

“Be confident in who you are and in the training you have received. Never underestimate your capacity to transition into the civilian culture,” said Hurley.

“As far as where you want to work geographically, think in terms of regions rather than specifics and be open to the possibilities,” Haydock added.

Both Haydock and Hurley agree that networking helps to speed the process along.

Hurley first learned about the JMO Program by networking with his brother who served as a logistics officer in the U.S. Army.

“One phone call with him led me to a Bradley-Morris, Inc. representative who in turn connected me to Greg Kern, also of BMI,” said Hurley, adding that an interview with Kaiser Permanente soon followed.

Want More Information?

If you are interested in becoming a candidate for Kaiser Permanente’s JMO Program, you should have the following:

• A Bachelor’s Degree and an MBA or other advanced degree
• A minimum of four years commissioned military service
• An excellent military record

Additionally, candidates should also be current commissioned military officers or former ones who have not been separated from the military for more than one year. This requirement may be waived if the candidate is pursing higher education.

For those that are interested, simply follow Haydock’s parting advice.

“Definitely reach out to BMI,” said Haydock.

About the Author: Janet Farley is a job search and workplace issues expert and the author of eight career advice books to include "Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job," (Jist, Inc. 2013) and "Military Life 101: Basic Training for New Families," (Rowman & Littlefield, Expected 2016).


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