As we take time to be with family and friends on Memorial Day, we recognize that this holiday is an important part of our American heritage. Bill Rogers, Regulatory Leader in our Risk Advisory practice, recalls the sacrifices of those who have died in service to our country.
What is your background in the armed forces and what were your roles?
During active duty, I served as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger at 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Benning, GA. When family and friends would ask me this question, I would jokingly say, “I jump out of airplanes, take long walks in the woods at night and occasionally blow stuff up.” The unit I was in rolled up to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and its primary missions were to conduct airborne operations, airfield seizures, direct action raids, and special operations missions in support of U.S. policy. To be a bit more specific, these roles included Rifleman, RSOV Driver, Demolitions (Breacher), EMT, Machine Gunner, Radio Operator, Sniper Team Leader, and all-around pack mule. After active duty, I served in the National Guard in a Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) unit for several years in Newnan, GA.
As we think about those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country, what comes to mind as we remember them on Memorial Day?
This is a very personal question, and while I never served in combat, I have had quite a few buddies that continued their service and have given the ultimate sacrifice for us. I think about them more than once a year as I watch their kids grow up and I wear one of their memorial bracelets every single day to make sure I do not forget them. To be honest, I really hope it would be a day to respect the flag and, for at least one day out of the year, honor the families of these fallen service members for their sacrifice.
As one of DHG's leaders, can you shed some light on transferrable skills from the military into civilian life and how a firm like DHG can look “beyond” words on paper to see the value in how time in the military can propel someone’s civilian career?
I think there are some nuances for every branch of service and Military Occupation Specialty (MOS), but the one shared quality is that everyone volunteered to join the military, at least in recent history. I take this to mean that when service members joined, they were looking to do something more than the status quo and are willing to step up, when needed.
In the special operations community, the training is designed to be as challenging as possible to make sure everyone has the mental and physical strength to carry on to the objective and complete the mission. The only way to make it through is to make your mind up from the start what your outcome will be and then execute. I like to call this “Tenacious Persistence” in pursuit of a goal.
In my opinion, service members are hardworking, dedicated, and relentless, which is very difficult to read on a resume.
Now that you’ve made this transition to civilian life, what military habits do you still hold today?
To start, I do not know if the transition is ever fully made. I think the longer someone is in the armed forces, the harder the transition will likely be. For me, despite trying to let it go, the lingo is something that I cannot seem to fully shake when I get busy or feel passionately about a topic.
Several years ago, you started a grassroots effort to work with veterans here at DHG, hiring veterans and striking relationships with community organizations, such as Veterans on Wall Street, Veterans Bridge Home, and Recruit Military. The Common Interest Group DHG Veterans has a new steering committee and expanding membership. Can you share with us who the new steering committee members are and how interested DHG team members can join?
The new Steering Committee is:
- Jeff Lewis, Executive Sponsor
- Scott Carlson, Chair
- Cindy MacAulay, Vice Chair
- Sue Ransom, Communications Chair
- Phylecia John, Membership Chair
Those interested in being a part of DHG Veterans can contact any one of the Steering Committee members or visit their internal site and fill out the membership form.
Go Army and RLTW!