Dessamba Diop spent 20 years doing something he loved—serving his country in the U.S. Navy. As he planned his retirement from active service, it was important to him that his next career be just as rewarding. When he exited the Navy in September 2017, he started with Booz Allen 4 days later.
Dessamba is one of more than 6,500 veterans, reservists, and military spouses who have found a home and a career at Booz Allen. That’s an impressive number—but why are these exceptionally skilled candidates choosing Booz Allen and what makes them stay? We interviewed several to find out.
1. Ability to continue the mission
For many veterans, commitment to country doesn’t end when they exit the service. Booz Allen’s history of service and ongoing commitment to the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Armed Forces clients is a way for veterans to continue the mission of serving their country in a new way. “I did cybersecurity while I was in the Navy,” says Dessamba, “and now I’m supporting Navy clients and others in a similar way. This is very important to me and has helped ease my transition to my new career with Booz Allen.”
2. New opportunities
Once a veteran only a veteran? Not at Booz Allen. “Booz Allen doesn’t force our military and veteran candidates into one type of career path,” says George Bernloehr, a member of Booz Allen's Veteran Recruiting Center of Excellence. “We hire based on the skills and the qualities of the individual, and then work with those candidates to find the career they want within Booz Allen. If it’s working with a DoD or Armed Forces client, great, but if they want to try something else—those doors are open, too."
3. Flexibility and benefits for reservists
Major Danna Alberts wasn’t a reservist when she joined Booz Allen in 2008, but after a couple of years out of the Air Force, she realized how much she missed it. So, she talked to her career managers in 2010 about her desire to join the Air Force Reserves, prepared to hear concern about how that might affect her career.
“I got nothing but support,” says Danna, who’s now several months into a year-long duty assignment with a joint command in Norfolk. “The work I do in uniform and out of uniform is very similar,” says Danna. “Booz Allen values the insights and training I gain while I’m on active assignment, and I find that the reverse is true, too. When I’m embedded on a military assignment and my team finds out I work for Booz Allen—there’s an immediate connection because the firm has such a strong reputation as a supporter of the military’s mission."
In addition, Booz Allen offers benefits to reservists that many other companies don’t—among them differential pay for up to 6 months, and continuing health and retirement benefits for the duration of an employee’s active-duty assignment.
4. Commitment to military spouse recruitment and retention
Booz Allen is focused on helping military spouses build their careers, not just get a job, and through the Military Spouse Forum offers networking, career training, and a valuable knowledge base to help employees facing relocation with a military spouse. Regina Irwin, a Booz Allen project manager working with the Army, has moved four times with her military spouse while employed at the firm. “My leadership has been instrumental in affording me the flexibility I’ve needed during these transitions, while still enabling me to grow my career, take on new roles, and thrive here,” says Regina.
5. Cultural understanding, not culture clash
Booz Allen was founded by a veteran and with so many military and veteran employees—there’s an immediate connection and appreciation of the skills and experiences of our military and veterans. “My service is understood and appreciated at Booz Allen,” says Dessamba. “When you’ve given so many years of your life to something, that’s important.”
We continue to provide our management and technology consulting expertise to support the military community. We bring our expertise to this community today through innovative client and pro bono work, such as our support of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Got Your 6 Collaboratory, and our upcoming support of the Blue Star Families Military Families Lifestyle Survey.