Life after the military
Raytheon Technologies helps military veterans find new careers as civilians
By the time Justin Weissert retired from the U.S. Army, it had been more than 20 years since he last applied for a job - at least in the civilian world.
“Being in the Army was my security for most of my adult life,” said Weissert, who joined the service when he was 20 years old and rose through the ranks. He started as a radio communications specialist and retired in June 2020, capping his military career as an air and missile defense warrant officer.
Giving up that security forced Weissert to focus on his next chapter in life and ask himself a lot of hard questions.
“You wonder, where am I going to put down roots? How does my work transition into civilian life? What jobs should I apply for?” he said.
That kind of introspection is common among people separating from the military, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies, is a good place for them to land.
“I’d worked with some great people at Raytheon throughout my years in the Army,” he said. “I developed a great network and knew it was a place I would like to work.”
While in the military, he lived and worked in the U.S. and Germany, and deployed to Israel, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Skills learned in the military, such as engineering, project management and systems development, can give veterans a big advantage in the private sector. Weissert learned those transferrable job skills in the Army and earned a bachelor’s degree in technology management while working full-time.
When the time came to hang up his uniform and put his talents to work in industry, Weissert looked no farther than Raytheon Technologies.
Part of the appeal for Weissert was the idea of working for a company with four business spanning the commercial aerospace and defense industries – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense. It would offer expansive career opportunities and allow him to support his brothers and sisters in arms.
Weissert reached out to his contacts at Raytheon Missiles & Defense in Huntsville, Alabama – a city he heard was “like Silicon Valley for engineers.”
“Not a lot of military members have that connection,” he said. “They don’t know who to call or where to go when it’s time to start over.”
His approach worked. Weissert took a job as integration lead for the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor and Condition-Based Maintenance Plus programs in Huntsville.
He’s also the site lead for the company’s RAYVETS employee resource group and runs the soldier touchpoint program, which improves products by collecting direct feedback from active-duty military.
Huntsville has given Weissert and his family a high quality of life, a low cost of living, a strong job market and a chance to continue supporting the military and help fellow veterans make the switch to civilian life.
“I’m fortunate to be part of this organization,” he said. “I hope to give back even a fraction of that by helping veterans find their place as they move into their new chapter.”