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Posted 9/25/2016

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By Randy Gon
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District

Feeling the frustration many Veterans face when applying for work subsequent to their military service, Josh Harmon wasn’t prepared to settle for a career in corporate sales or management at his local hardware store.

After 13 years of military service as an intelligence officer and standing up the first STRYKER Brigade Engineer Battalion, a unit comprised of over 500 Soldiers in support of U.S. Army Northern Command, Harmon sought out to find a new career. A friend mentioned Army civilian positions, and suggested attending a Corps-hosted Veterans career fair.

“When you get off of active duty it’s a pretty emotional event because you’re transitioning from a job you’re extremely familiar with into a totally new arena,” said Harmon.

It was here the 2007 Sacramento State University graduate and father of four found himself face-to-face with Sacramento District leadership discussing possibilities for employment.

“It’s incredibly valuable when you get that one-on-one experience,” said Harmon.

Harmon was selected as the Chief of Security for the Corps’ Sacramento District in May 2016, and he believes the feedback he gained at the career fair helped with his job search.

Harmon’s story is like that of many other Veterans getting hired throughout the federal government because the Department of Defense recognizes the value prior service members bring to the workforce.

For someone who’s led hundreds of Soldiers before, communication is key. Relationship building and coordination with the building management company, on-site security patrol, Department of Homeland Security staff, and the handful of state and federal agencies occupying space within the Sacramento District headquarters building has been the first step.

Harmon plans to continue the plan set forth by his predecessors, including implementation of added layers of security. Random bag checks, increased building perimeter patrols and new trainings are scheduled to begin soon.

While no machine or security exercise can fully protect us from harm, Harmon stresses the importance of minding your surroundings.

“We all need to continue to be vigilant, especially during non-business hours and when we see something, we need to say something,” said Harmon. “Report suspicious activities to our security office, the guards or local police department.”

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