From military boots to civilian shoes
Men and women from all over the United States have chosen to willingly serve our country to help protect our rights and our freedoms. As a daughter of a Veteran and a Veteran myself, I’m keenly aware of the sacrifices that are made to serve this country and I know the challenges faced when transitioning from military life and career to civilian living and workforce.
Retired Command Master Chief Rob Munch
It’s an honor and privilege to introduce to you Retired Command Master Chief Rob Munch. I met Rob at a Veteran’s Committee meeting. After attending several times Rob invited me to be a Board Member for the NM Veterans Business Advocates. I accepted. The opportunity to be a participant of Rob’s Mission to Serve was a privilege.
When asked what motivated him to join the military Rob told me that it really had never been his desire to join. It was his father’s dream for all his sons to join the Army. Feeling the pressure from his father and being the rebellious type, he did decide to join the military but not the Army. Rob joined the Navy to see the world. Little did he realize at that time how much of the Navy world he would see and how deeply the military culture would be embedded in the core of his being. Teamwork, trust, accountability, camaraderie, as well as so many other fine qualities, are at the core of Rob and it fuels his Mission to Serve.
After marrying and having a child, Rob discharged from the Navy. The recession was in full motion and there wasn’t any real work for being a loadmaster, so he decided to re-enter the Navy. He rose in leadership to the highest rank and in the top 150. After 31 years of successful active duty, Rob received an honorable discharge from the Navy as the CMC for an Admiral with multiple commands to include the Navy Space Command. Rob reported and advised the Admiral on roughly 5,400 Enlisted Sailors.
When asked what his greatest challenge in transitioning was, he said, “Lack of camaraderie. People live in their own castle world and the workforce doesn’t really hang out together or has a common bond together. I have a strong Christian faith and my church of 150 families helped me with this transition. I did a lot of work in the church in the leadership positions of elder and trustee and I continue to maintain a bond within the leadership and volunteers.”
“For the past eleven years,” Rob says, “I’ve had the privilege of using my strengths that were developed in the military to coach people to identify the work they are meant to do. My desire for others to be doing what they’re meant to do was really inspired by being coached myself.”
Rob explained how there was a point in his military career where there was no longer opportunity for advancement. An individual who was once junior to him had advanced beyond Rob and then asked Rob how he could help him advance. The next year, Rob advanced to the next level.
Rob’s Mission to Serve was birthed in his military service and continues to permeate everything he does today. He said, “I have a retirement and I don’t have to do anything, but I want to help others succeed on their terms. What I do now is what was done for me.”
Rob’s Mission to Serve has been growing for 42 years, and after interviewing him, I don’t suspect it will end anytime soon.
When asked what words of wisdom he could share with transitioning veterans and employers, he said for the veteran, “Get involved in serving the community to help with the transition. Find a place to serve. Service is something engrained in every veteran. SERVE SOMETHING THAT IS HIGHER THAN YOURSELF.” For the employer, “Get past the PTSD conversation. Understand veterans have twice as much experience as most potential employees. Veterans don’t just want a 9:00 to 5:00 job. THEY WANT TO SUCCEED.”
Thank you, Rob Munch, for your service to our country, for being involved in your local community, and for allowing CORE Advantage, LLC the honor and privilege to interview and post your Mission to Serve story.