From Staff Sergeant in the National Guard to Success at Legion Logistics, LLC
Legion Logistics is a third-party logistics provider based in Florence, Kentucky. The company connects customers with products to ship with carriers who can ship them. Legion serves the Continental United States, Canada, and parts of Mexico. In 2014, Legion had more than $25 million in sales; the company currently has 60 employees.
The company occasionally hires for support positions in accounting, marketing, and IT. Legion’s greatest need is for problem-solvers who will build their own customer portfolios and service those customers throughout the shipping process.
Legion actively hires veterans, attending veteran job fairs and partnering with groups such as Hiring Our Heroes. The company values veterans because they work hard both independently and as team members – and they can think quickly on their feet. Legion is co-owned by a service-disabled veteran, and it currently employs several veterans.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | LEVI PAPAI
Levi Papai spent 12 years in the Army National Guard, serving as a staff sergeant. He was at times a platoon sergeant, squad leader, NCO in charge of fire support planning, and training NCO. He is now vice president of operations at Legion Logistics. He is responsible for employee training, claims, contract reviews, and facilities maintenance. Papai joined the company in 2011. He began his career in sales – with just four other people.
The military gave Papai the chance to be a leader, and he has turned that opportunity into civilian success. “Being in charge of a remote outpost with 28 soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment gave me a springboard into the operations world and the record-keeping necessary to keep it all in line,” he said.
He encourages servicemembers and veterans not to be complacent. “Fight for every promotion and school you can possibly get into,” he said. “I know the saying is don’t volunteer for anything in the Army, but that saying is for the people who are just happy where they are. If you want to move forward, you have to take action.”
Plenty of what he learned in the military has paid off in his civilian career. “The ability to lead quietly and confidently, and to own my mistakes and have a workable solution in place have been important,” he said.
What else has helped? “Always being early for work, seeing the job through to completion, knowing when to ask for help, and having the ability to lead a very diverse group of people and identify which style works best for the situation.