His Military Skills Are Paying Dividends
CARBON STEEL INSPECTION, INC.
Carbon Steel Inspection, Inc. (CSI) has been serving the refining, chemical, and power-generation industries for more than 20 years. The company tests components such as shell and tube exchangers, condensers, heaters, boilers, furnaces, and process piping. CSI conducts business all over the United States, in Canada, and overseas. Company headquarters are in Pittsburgh, and CSI also has offices in LaPorte, Texas; and Oakley, California.
According to CSI, veterans are great employees because they demonstrate a strong work ethic, commitment, leadership, and self-discipline. They work well in teams, interact well with customers, and project a good image. And they have a lot to offer by way of communication and technical skills.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | C. TAYLOR CALHOUN
C. Taylor Calhoun spent seven years in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard before separating as a staff sergeant. His main responsibility in the military was as a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) - from a forward position, a JTAC directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations.
Calhoun is now the Gulf Coast regional manager for CSI. He joined the company in early 2014.
For those who are still in the military, but thinking about getting out soon, Calhoun recommends pursuing all educational options prior to entering the civilian world. “Utilize education benefits to the fullest extent possible,” he said.
“Find a trade that you are interested and begin a path towards certifications and licensing before your ETS date. Everyone has a degree nowadays; get a certification that sets you apart from the others.”
Calhoun knows that the leadership skills he developed in the Air Force are paying dividends now. “In the Air Force, I received extensive formal as well as non-formal leadership training,” he said. “I also have real-world application of the principals learned in the classroom, including leading men in severely austere combat situations. I believe that this skill set is the most predominant reason that CSI hiring officials placed me in this position. I have been able to use this skill set to provide CSI with the leader that it needed in order to effectively align its employees and direct them in achieving the goals of the company.”
He also had a chance to develop his management skills in the Air Force. “The military placed me in a management position very early on in my time with them,” he said. “As I continued to progress through the ranks, I was given more and more management duties, often managing multiple projects at one time. CSI had a strong desire for me to display my management capabilities and I have since applied those skills to gather resources and use them effectively in daily business operations.”
His ability to focus – also learned in the military – has been beneficial at his company. “CSI recognized that my military background provided me with a level of focus and determination that cannot be taught in a college classroom,” said Calhoun. “Hiring officials recognized that I had the previous experience they needed to keep employees and myself focused on company goals and objectives.
“Another major reason that I was hired by CSI was due to the level of professionalism that I would bring to the company - professionalism that had been learned while conducting my duties as a JTAC. I was often required to speak with officers far above my pay grade to assist in making military command and use-of-force decisions. The ability to remain professional in all settings has allowed me to properly communicate and interface with CSI's clients in a way that reflects well upon CSI.
"With the Air Forces motto ‘Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all that I do’ being instilled in me for the previous seven years, CSI hiring officials knew from the start that I was exactly what they needed.”
The atmosphere and work tempo at CSI is something that will appeal to veterans, according to Calhoun. “The job scope and work days are ever-changing,” he said. “Much like a military combat unit, we often find ourselves in one of two scenarios: ‘Hurry up and wait’ or ‘Plan, plan, plan.' Then the plan gets changed last minute. We have to remain fluid and flexible, and be ready to go at the drop of a hat. Combat veterans that are used to this type of atmosphere tend to do very well here.”
Calhoun wants veterans to be flexible in their post-military job searches. “First and foremost, understand that being in a true combat position in the military provides you with very little qualifications in the civilian sector, other than law enforcement and private security contracting,” he said. “Begin your search early. Use Recruit Military’s resume-writing service. They will correlate your military experience into a language that civilian employers can understand. Attend RecruitMilitary Job fairs in your area. Swallow your pride and don’t be afraid to start at the bottom of the totem pole. You will rise above your peers with lightning speed.”