Honoring Our Veterans: Rachel Boehme
Rachel served in the Army for 11 years as a military police officer and had several other roles within that position. She is now the senior talent development program manager and is also a program manager for McKinstry’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program. In the Q&A below, you can learn more about Rachel’s experience in the military and as a veteran.
Learn More About Rachel’s Experience:
I’m currently serving as the senior talent development program manager on the Talent Development team. I feel so lucky to have landed with a team like this post-military – I’ve honestly felt right at home since day one. I started my time here at McKinstry as a Hiring Our Heroes Fellow from January 18, 2022 – March 31, 2022, then transitioned to a full time employee on April 6, 2022.
I was in the Army as a military police officer for 11 years. I commissioned May 21, 2011, then transitioned off Active-Duty May 21, 2022.
As a military police officer, I held many operations and training related roles. My most challenging (and rewarding) positions were serving as a platoon leader and training for and deploying to Afghanistan in 2013 and serving as a company commander when I was at Fort Hood, TX in 2016.
My last assignment in the Army was probably my favorite (although there may be a little recency bias here). I was the assistant professor of military science at Seattle University Army ROTC. It was an amazing experience to see my cadets grow as leaders from their first day of college their freshman year, to officially commission as U.S. Army Officers the last day of their senior year. It always makes my day when my lieutenants reach back out every now and then to let me know how they’re doing, or to ask any questions about any challenges they’re facing.
It’s tough to choose a single moment that stands out as my most memorable/proud experience while serving – but I will say that my favorite part of being in the Military was being challenged physically, mentally and emotionally – whether it was parachuting out of airplanes at Airborne School, rappelling out of a helicopter at Air Assault School or deploying with my soldiers to Afghanistan – in all these opportunities, I had an incredible sense of peace and confidence knowing that I was trained by the best and we were all there to help each other succeed and get home safely. It was having that sense of “I’ve got your back, and I know that you have mine” camaraderie that I’ll always cherish and appreciate.
I learned a lot of operations and project management skills throughout my time in the military. It’s always rewarding to look back on the very first planning meeting for a project where everything was just ideas on a whiteboard – then see it slowly come to fruition and success during execution phase. I’ve brought these skills to my current role as the senior talent development program manager, and it’s just as rewarding with assisting in the process of launching new Talent Development programs and helping run operations with our ongoing programs and offerings.
The most important skill that I’ve learned from my time is service is building trust and relationships with people around you. These connections are so important, not just to get work done, but more importantly, to live out a culture that we all thrive in and want to work in. Seeing McKinstry’s People First value in action on a daily basis lets me know that I was meant to be here.
I had an awesome experience with McKinstry’s Hiring Our Heroes Program. McKinstry is known for having a strong program, and it was always interesting to listen in and compare notes with other fellows in other companies during our local huddles. It made me even more thankful for all the support that McKinstry intentionally built into the program for transitioning Veterans – from the great onboarding process with the HR Operations Team and Tech team to the Executive Connects with our leaders, weekly check-ins with our Hiring Our Heroes program manager, bi-weekly check-ins with my mentor and cohort advisor, and the peer network Veterans Alliance. I’m the Hiring Our Heroes program manager now, and it’s been an amazing experience to have everything come full circle less than one year later.
My advice for recent veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce would be to establish what values are the most important to you – that are truly important to your core, then work for a company whose values align with your own.