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After successful Navy career, veteran finds new career path through DAV RecruitMilitary Job Fair

After boot camp and training, Navy veteran Josh Vinson did four years in aviation electronics and re-enlisted at Seattle’s Space Needle. By this time, he was married and wasn't ready to finish his time in the service. 

Vinson served three years as a Navy recruiter in Nebraska where he excelled, winning numerous recruiting awards. Re-enlisting again, he was off to San Diego for more work in his primary MOS, aviation electronics. While there, he deployed on the USS Nimitz to Australia, Guam, Dubai and Malaysia. 

“I had a passion to help people,” says Vinson. “I like watching people grow…and watching them grow and succeed in life…I helped guide that path.”

When it came time for Vinson to decide whether or not to re-enlist, he chose to commit to six more years, and this time the stage for his re-enlistment was the 9/11 Memorial Room at the Pentagon. 

“I chose to re-enlist six years at that time, which took me from Iowa to Florence, Kentucky where I was selected for ‘chief.’ I did that for three years, then went to Chicago to be a trainer for recruiting. I helped the new sailors that came onboard — get the personality to talk to people, make the cold calls, and get comfortable. We succeeded there.”

Before Vinson left Chicago, he chose to re-enlist again, and this time he had a substantial audience. 

“I re-enlisted on the Steve Harvey Show. It was my last enlistment,” says Vinson. “Our public affairs officer had some connections and his media people contacted us to say that Steve Harvey was looking for veterans to tape his Veterans Day special. He wanted veterans…active duty, whatever, just to be there. I thought, ‘I’m coming up on re-enlistment, let me see. The worst they can say is no.' That is one of my favorite mottos — the worst they can say is, no.” 

But no one said no to Vinson’s request to re-enlist on Harvey’s show and it was all captured on camera. 

When it became time to transfer again, Vinson took orders to a recruiting station in Columbus, Indiana.

But the commute was a long one for Vinson, who had set up home in Kentucky where his daughter was in high school. By now he’d been in the Navy for nearly 22 years. He decided it might be time for a change. His wife agreed as they didn’t want to uproot their daughter while she was ready to enter her senior year of high school, so he put in his retirement papers.

That’s when Vinson started looking into the next exciting chapter of his life — taking where he’d excelled in the Navy to the civilian job sphere, thanks to a DAV RecruitMilitary Job Fair.

He handed out a lot of resumes and talked one-on-one with recruiters.  

“I went to the DAV RecruitMilitary Job Fair and asked people, 'How do I get your job? I want to be a recruiter at the career fair.'”  

One of the recruiters from Gus Perdikakis Associates (GPA) in Mason, Ohio, looked at his resume and told him it looked great but that they were looking for engineers and processors.  

“I said, ’Well, I want to be a recruiter. I want your job,’" says Vinson.   

The GPA recruiter told him he’d take Vinson’s resume to his vice president and get back to him. Two weeks later Josh got a call from GPA’s senior recruiter saying, “We got your resume and we’re interested.” 

At the time, Vinson was still active duty until the end of the summer. He met with GPA’s CEO and vice president. They made him an offer as a recruiter – his first job offer since he’d been in the Navy. 

Vinson’s experience with GPA was a key step in his new career path, and today Vinson is a Talent Acquisition Partner with The Hertz Corporation recruiting for 9 major airports within the Tri-State area of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. 

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