Scott, Class of 2015
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Scott realized in the wake of a tragedy that what he wanted to do after leaving the Marines was help other Veterans from having to go through the same struggle he did after transitioning out of the service.
Scott enlisted in the Marine Corps right after high school, became a combat engineer, did two tours in Iraq, and chose to leave when his third deployment was canceled. He spoke fondly about his time in the service as a “gunner” as well as when he and his team went into the cities in Iraq to help give power back to the people, calling it the highlight of his career.
Scott met his wife just a few months after transitioning out of the military, and he admits she helped get him motivated to go back to school and think about life after the military. He explained that, at 22 years old, he had no idea what he wanted to do. After enrolling in some general education courses at a community college, he decided law enforcement was the right route for him and he enrolled at The University of Phoenix and worked in Palm Springs in the meantime.
“I applied and got hired on with [Gavin de Becker & Associates] and they moved me to Palm Springs. It was good because the University of Phoenix had a school campus out in Palm Springs so I would work and go to school, but I had just gotten married, had a brand new baby, and was working 60 hours per week plus nights, so we came back to San Diego. I got another job at a gun shop, finished school, and got a degree in criminal justice in November 2014.”
Unfortunately, a college education did not provide Scott with what he envisioned after graduation. Instead of opportunity and a way to support his family, he found himself in a sea of other criminal justice graduates and couldn’t find a job.
“I applied to every single agency I could think of in San Diego. And no one would take me, even with a degree. I even applied to a few other positions not as a Deputy but as a crime prevention specialist. I made it pretty far, but I just couldn’t find a job anywhere.”
Scott then ended up taking a different security job that he got through a friend at $10/hour while he continued to search for a job. He went on to explain that he even had connections in the industry, even with other Veterans, but nothing seemed to be enough. He felt “under appreciated” at his security job, and a 50 cent raise every year wasn’t where he wanted to be at this point in his life.
“My professors in college were retired Deputies; I went to school with guys who are now working in these agencies, so I had connections. I applied for a position in the public safety department where I knew a guy who was best friends with the Chief, and I couldn’t get that either. So I did the networking thing.” He added, “I have no criminal record, I did great on the test, I did great physically, but it never worked out. I was blown away.”
It was in March of 2015 that everything changed. Scott’s friend, Andrew Seif, died in a helicopter accident, just one week after being awarded the third-highest award for valor, the Silver Star. His funeral brought Scott to Washington DC where he contemplated another path away from law enforcement.
“Andy was the best of the best and I really looked up to him. I kept in touch with him, I sent him care packages, I tried to stay connected as much as I could because he motivated me. And there was a point I wanted to say dude I finally made it, I have a cool job, and I could maybe tell him that I was doing what I was supposed to do, but it never happened.” He added,
“Once he died it made me realize what’s really important. He left behind a wife and a kid. Meanwhile, I have a wife, two kids, and I’m around them all the time and they love me being around, and that’s when it finally hit me; and it took 5 years for me to realize that I don’t have to do what I did when I was in the military.”
While Scott was in Washington DC for the funeral he reconnected with a lot of his old friends from the Marines and learned that one of his friends was attending Workshops for Warriors. He then came in and enrolled, started his classes and that was it.
After earning 7 certifications, Scott was hired on as a Teaching Assistant at Workshops for Warriors and says he loves what he’s doing because he wants to help veterans avoid going through what he went through after transitioning out of the military.
“You know if you asked me before I showed up [at Workshops] what I was going to do with my life, I would have said law enforcement. But right now I don’t care what Vets do I just want to help them get something that’s going to get them a decent job while they’re transitioning […]. I’m staying here and not going anywhere for a long time.”
Between Scott having the experience as a Marine who has been through the machining program as well as the current machining instructor, Pat Dorris, he knows he is positioning these veterans for success.
“Like I said if my job is to help vets not go through what I went through that’s great. I love machining, but as much as I’d want to pursue something in the future, right now these guys just don’t understand what potential opportunity they have learning what they’re learning. My goal is to get them all the information and ability and experience on these machines so that when they leave they get the high paying job.”
Scott received the following nationally recognized credentials:
- Mastercam – Mill Design and Toolpaths X8
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills – Measurement, Materials & Safety
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Turning: Programming Setup & Orientation
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Milling: Programming Setup & Orientation
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Milling Skills 2
- SolidWorks – Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA)
- SolidWorks – Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP)