CBG's 10 Questions: with LCDR Jeff Miller, Author of Taking the Oath

1. Why did you write the book?

Throughout my career young adults have asked me if the military would be a good fit for them. Also, many parents wonder if the military is a good fit for their child. This book answers those questions.

2. You often mention the importance of research in the book. Why do perspective military applicants need to research prior to visiting a recruiter?

Recruiters have quotas to fill. If you don’t know what job you want before visiting a recruiter, they might “sell” you something that is not a good fit for you. They are only doing their job, but many times the result is a four to five-year career that you didn’t necessarily want.

3. With so many different jobs in the military, and several branches of service, where does one start their research?

Prior to visiting a recruiter, individuals should visit each services website and read every job description. You might find something you didn’t know existed. Also, talking to people who are serving, or who have, is an excellent way to gain insider knowledge.

4. What is something new recruits don’t consider when signing up?

Many young people only think about right now. Picking a job that sounds cool now might not be the best stepping stone to a career when you leave the military. It’s difficult to translate bomb builder or parachute rigger into terms that people in the corporate world can understand. If you think the military is going to be a temporary career move, choose a job that has a specific civilian equivalent.

5. What are employers missing by not hiring veterans?

Some employers don’t understand how an individual’s military skills can carry over to the corporate environment. Employers should understand that most veterans are self-starters, highly motivated, goal driven, and possess both hard and soft skills. This is a successful combination for any business.

6. What’s a common reason people dismiss the military as a career choice?

Money. If you look at the base salary of a junior service member, it doesn’t look very enticing. However, when you factor in bonuses, medical/dental coverage, housing allowance, and special pay for specific jobs, it’s absolutely possible to make six figures.

7. Other than their job, what skills do service members learn?

There are many, but for me work ethic is number one. Twelve-hour workdays in the military is very common, so a typical nine to five is not a heavy workload for a veteran. Problem solving, multi-tasking, flexibility, and communication are skills that one must possess to be successful in the military.

8. How is the military and the civilian workforce similar?

Both have to be on the cutting edge of technology to be competitive and win. The younger generation understands this environment better than some of us who grew up pre-internet and cell phone. These individuals can provide a competitive advantage to companies that chose to hire them.

9. Now that you are close to retirement, what are you looking for in a civilian job?

Being in the military taught me that service to others creates a high level of satisfaction and value. I want to work for a company that provides services which make people’s lives better.

10. How can people find your book and contact you?

My book “Taking the Oath” is on Amazon in paperback and e-book, and people can contact me by visiting the website, or emailing me at


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