In celebration of Veterans Day, we at Aerotek wish to salute veterans and their families — and pledge allegiance to one of our most important missions: providing career services and opportunities for veterans and military families.
On this day, we wanted to take a moment to recognize one of our own — Dan Forck, a 20-year Veteran of the United States Navy and current Aerotek contractor.
Dan has been happily married since 2002 and has two daughters, seven and 10 years old, who enjoy biking, 4-H and adding grey to his hair. When he’s not repairing combat systems, he and the family are hiking, camping, fishing or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors. Did we mention Dan is an Eagle Scout?
We had the opportunity to sit down with Dan to discuss his service — and what it’s meant to his post-military career:
Tell us a little bit about your military service.
“Joining the military was a good way to help pay for college. Through the navy I earned an A.A. in math and an A.S. degree in computer science from Hawaii Pacific University, then later a B.S. in applied technology (education and training) with a minor in management."
“There was never really a choice. No one else had submarines."
What did you do in the Navy and why?
“I was a sonar technician and I chose it for several reasons, but the top two are: I liked both the sonar job and the sonar techs I worked with on my first sub (USS DOLPHIN AGSS-555). I was actually "undesignated" when I reported to DOLPHIN in Mare Island Shipyard, and had to "strike" for sonar tech after waiting a year for the rating to become available. Secondly, I enjoyed having a job where I sat in front of the submarine's window and knew what was going on."
Did you receive special recognition while in the Navy?
“Yes, I was selected as the 2009 Shore Soldier of the Year and then again in 2013 when I received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal while serving as a member of Sonar Division in USS NORTH CAROLINA (SSN 777). I received several other awards during my service, but these are the two I’m most proud of."
Tell us about your transition from military to civilian life.
“I retired February of 2014 with plans and preparations in place. My family and I had a place to live, transportation and had saved an “operating budget” in advance of my retirement. I made the transition as smooth as I could from a logistics perspective.
What I didn’t plan for were the mental challenges that came with retiring from the Navy. After 20 years, more than half my life, I had to consider job security. Having a secure job was an invisible crutch that I didn’t notice until it was being removed. Additionally, a sonar technician has a rather limited skill-set, one that isn’t well matched to a civilian equivalent because there are no civilian equivalents. After some creative thinking and advice from friends I started looking for jobs utilizing the skills I had, up until then, taken for granted."
How did you begin your career with Aerotek?
“I was contacted by Aerotek that February and now I’m here at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), repairing the kinds of power supplies I used to turn into supply as DLR to fix my sonar system. Turns out, it was a better fit than I could have imagined — great people, great opportunities and challenging work."
Want to honor a veteran who’s distinguished themselves in their career after the military? Share their story with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Happy Veterans Day!