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Military Life: A Fellow Veteran at Your 6:00

CTU helps military veterans transition to the civilian job marketIn the Spring of 2009, a military veteran just a little over three years removed from of a tour of duty in Iraq found himself at a difficult crossroads in his life.  It was the midst of the economic downturn from the recent recession. The unemployment rate was reaching 10%, employees were being laid off by the thousands and competition for jobs was at an all-time high.

Earning Experience

The veteran was a former Army Infantryman who had served for five years in the military, and had been struggling to find steady employment ever since.  He was receiving one rejection after another, often hearing comments like, “It’s nice that you served our country and I thank you for your service, but I need to know what kind of real world skills you have that would make you a good fit for this opportunity.”

Couldn’t they see that he had amazing experience and was highly qualified for a variety of roles? Frustrated and at a loss, the veteran decided to do the unthinkable.  He went to a veteran services organization, and decided to ask for help.

Asking for Help

Help.  For many people, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. But for current and former military service members, help is an alien concept often perceived as a weakness of character. In the military, when the going gets tough, soldiers, marines, seamen, and airmen hear orders like “Drive on,” “Suck it up,” or “Charlie Mike” (which means ‘Continue Mission’).

There are some exceptions to this “no help” rule and these exceptions arise when military members are placed in extraordinary circumstances. At some point while serving, everyone in the military needs a battle buddy watching their 6:00 to keep them out of harm’s way. They need someone to call out “incoming!” when the faint, but distinct whistle of an oncoming mortar round or a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). They need help when hit with an improvised explosive device (IED) to make sure they’re alright. They need help from a chaplain or counselor for the loss of close friends, and the harsh realities of war become too much to bear.

My name is Dale Prickett and I am the designated Career Coach for the military and veteran online student population here at CTU, and this is my story.  As a fellow veteran, I initially struggled with the transition to civilian employment while going at it alone, and it was only after I asked for help that I was able to find my own success in the civilian jobs sector. 

Transitioning to Employment

I am proud to be a designated Career Coach who supports the online military and veteran students here at CTU. I initially struggled with the transition to civilian employment while doing it on my own and it was only after asking for help that I was able to succeed. 

As your Career Coach, I am here to provide that guidance. I have been in your shoes and understand the difficulties veterans face as they re-enter the civilian job market. Due to my experience in the veteran employment field, I can provide you with many tools CTU offers to get started on your career path. 

Everybody needs somebody at their 6:00, looking out for them when challenging times arise and there is nothing wrong with asking for a little help.

Dale Prickett
Military and Veteran Career Coach
CTU Career Services

CTU career coach and military veteran Dale PrickettDale Prickett is an Iraq War Combat Infantry Veteran who currently works as a Military and Veteran Career Coach with CTU, and as an Adjunct Professor in the Homeland Security Field.  He has worked for over 6 years in the veteran employment field, and holds a Master of Science in Threat and Response Management from the University of Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from North Park University.  


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