MOAA Networking Event Unites Transitioning Servicemembers and Employers

MOAA Networking Event Unites Transitioning Servicemembers and Employers
Attendees receive résumé reviews from MOAA staffers and other experts Oct. 4 during MOAA's annual networking event in Arlington, Va. (Photos by Mike Morones/MOAA)

Mere days into her retirement, Air Force Lt. Col. Carman Henry decided to check out MOAA’s Network for Career Success event.


With 22 years of service under her belt, including her last role as a space and policy adviser for the State Department, she’s exploring federal jobs and would love to land a role at NASA.


Henry, along with hundreds of other transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses, attended MOAA’s event Oct. 4 at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., in search of connections and support.  



Lt. Col. Carman Henry, USAF (Ret), poses for a LinkedIn photo during the Oct. 4 MOAA networking event in Arlington, Va. The photo sessions were available to MOAA Premium and Life members.


Henry brought along her résumé (four pages deep) and took advantage of the event’s 1-on-1 résumé critiques. Her coach gave her some solid advice, including cutting that résumé in half, adding some soft skills (she’s an excellent communicator), and tailoring the résumé for the position she is applying for (more work, better results).


“It was excellent,” said Henry, a MOAA member. “He went beyond the whole résumé and asked me what it is I really want to do. My résumé spoke one thing, but there were other thoughts I had.”


[MILITARY EXECUTIVE TRANSITION SEMINARS: Sign Up for a Two-Day October Virtual Session or an In-Person Session in November]


In a welcoming address to attendees, MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), encouraged participants to mingle, emphasizing that everyone in the room – the employers, the job coaches, and MOAA leaders and staff – were there to support.  


“Networking is the key to your success, so make sure you take advantage of that,” Kelly said. “You will likely land your next job through networking relationships. I know that’s how I landed my jobs.”



MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), speaks with attendees at the Oct. 4 MOAA networking event. 


The event, made possible by The MOAA Foundation and sponsored by Humana Military, Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA), and Delta Dental, was free and open to all ranks of all eight uniformed services, as well as all veterans, spouses, and survivors.


Col. Donald Riley, USMC, has worn the uniform for 30 years and is currently serving as assistant judge advocate general for the Navy Department. Retirement is still a couple years away, but his wife is looking for military spouse employment opportunities. Plus, he wants to be ahead of the game.


“We in the military … we run through the tape at the finish line. And then for transition, it seems to be an afterthought,” he said. “Why not get my LinkedIn profile, get my résumé updated? See what’s it’s all about, so when I do actually intend to transition, I don’t have to figure all that out. “


[RELATED: MOAA's Job Board, Powered by Indeed]


Col. John Foy, USAF, had the same idea. While he’s in no hurry to leave uniform, he hasn’t built a résumé and had never attended a transition-focused networking event until Wednesday night. 


“I’ve never done one, I’ve never seen it,” said Foy, who serves as director of congressional affairs for U.S. Transportation Command. “When I need to do this for real, I’ve at least seen it once or twice so I kind of know what to expect.”


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About the Author

Tony Lombardo
Tony Lombardo

As MOAA's Director of Audience Engagement, Tony Lombardo manages the content team tasked with producing The MOAA Newsletter, editing Military Officer magazine, operating MOAA's social media accounts, and supporting all communications efforts across the association.