Today marks the 95th observation of a day honoring America’s veterans.  President Wilson inaugurated the tradition in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War 1 and this day of remembrance evolved after the Second World War to become Veterans Day, a day to honor all those who serve our country in the armed forces.

While the men and women who serve and protect the United States and its citizens take on a monumental job when they joined the armed forces, once their service is complete, the transition to civilian life can present just as many challenges and without the structure that the military family provides.  The question of ”what comes next?” casts a large shadow over many veterans as they work out how to translate the skills they gained in their military careers into skills that are valued in the civilian world.

Recognizing the abundance of skills that service personnel bring with them – from technical training to discipline and rigor – NetApp signed on to the White House’s Joining Forces program to ensure that military personnel had access to training and job resources to build successful careers after their military service was complete.   We first sat down with Mark Conway, Senior Program Lead for Academic Alliances, to discuss how NetApp Public Sector was putting this commitment into action nearly 18 months ago when the first class of NetApp Certified Storage Associates had recently completed their training.

One of the graduates featured in that story, Marine Lt. Andrew Marsh, later sat down with us to discuss his career progress in the months since completing the program.  In that interview he talked candidly about the concerns he had making the transition to civilian life, but also about how his military training served him well both in completing the training, securing a job, and succeeding in that role, including advancing rapidly to acquire more responsibilities in his position.  A few weeks ago, we were delighted to hear that Andrew had been offered a position with NetApp where he will continue to foster his talent and we’re certain his career will reach new heights.

So, as you take time today to remember those who have served, think not only about what they have done for our country, but how the private sector can help America’s service men and women build their futures.