Veterans Day 2022: Spotlight on our FDM Veterans

John Smith

Every year for Veterans Day, the United States celebrates the brave men and women of the armed forces who served the country in times of war and peace. The day is marked as a federal holiday and can be traced back to World War I. It was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the war officially ended with the signing of the armistice.

For Veterans Day 2022 we spoke to two of our vet consultants who shared their experiences of serving in the military and their journey with FDM. We also caught up with one of our FDM Academy trainers and heard her story of transitioning into a civilian career after leaving the forces.  

Claudette Penaredondo

CLAUDETTE PENAREDONDO is currently a trainee at FDM Group.

Military Career

Claudette Penaredondo served in the United States Army, Active Duty for 4 years and 1 month. She worked as an Automated Logistic Specialist covering both ground and Aviation Fuel and Hazmat. She also worked as a Small Aperture VSAT Technician.

Her first duty station was a one-year tour in South Korea in 2006 as part of D Company 302nd Brigade Support Battalion. She was also deployed with 3rd Infantry Division and part of Operation Iraqi Freedom VI.

Claudette explains that the reason she joined the Army is because both her maternal and paternal grandparents were World War II veterans.

Career Highlights

For Claudette, the most significant highlight of her time in service wasn’t the awards that she received but the camaraderie turned family relationship she shared with the soldiers she served with. She remembers the KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) Soldiers she worked with during her time in South Korea. ‘What makes life colorful is to hear the stories and see the different perspectives of other people from different walks of life,’ she says and fondly recalls the Special Force Veteran she met during the Korean War and his stories.

Journey with FDM

Claudette was contacted by an FDM recruiter through LinkedIn. Describing her experience during training, Claudette said that the FDM team equips you with the right tools for training that also set you up for success at placement.

‘My experience of training is that I feel like I was in the Army because no one is left behind. The team make sures everyone is fine and if there are problems it was quickly resolved.’

Transferrable Skills

Those looking to transition into a civilian career after leaving the armed forces, possess some important transferrable skills that they learn during service. Claudette describes how she applies the 7 basic values of the United States Army into her civilian career. These include – Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

Pengbo Liu

PENGBO LIU currently works in Application Support for an American multinational investment banking division.

Pengbo served as a corporal in the US Marine Corps between 2012 and 2016. The reason he enlisted was to experience different learning opportunities, and to see how far he could push himself.

He recalls the completion of boot camp as the most significant highlight of his time in service.

Pengbo came across FDM group while researching for veteran careers programs. While he found the training fast-paced, overall it was an enjoyable learning process. The fundamental values of discipline and punctuality that he learned during service are what helped him – both during training and while working at client site.

Asked if he would recommend FDM to other Veterans, Pengbo said:

‘Yes, I would, because the learning opportunities and future career path that FDM provide definitely leads veterans to success.’

After speaking to a trainee and a consultant, let’s now meet an FDM trainer who shared her inspiring journey after leaving the US Navy.

Tracy Panford

TRACY PANFORD is a Professional Skills Trainer at FDM

Tracy is a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during the Gulf War where she developed the work ethic that has made her successful in life.

Tracy joined the US Navy right out of high school looking for an opportunity to travel. However, she quickly learned it would change her life for the better. She served for seven years between 1987 and 1994.  

She recalls becoming an Intel Specialist and receiving Top Secret Clearance as one of the most memorable highlights of her time in service.

Tracy smoothly transitioned into the customer service world where she became a flight attendant. Because of her superb communication and interpersonal skills, she rose to manage over 200 flight attendants. In the airline industry, Tracy has managed, recruited, and trained with her commitment to quality and excellence. She lists Resilience, Confidence, Critical Thinking as some of her key transferrable skills that she brought from her military training to her civilian career.

Fulfilling her dream to work on Wall Street, Tracy found FDM Group at a Veteran Fair and now is a Professional Skills Trainer, where she has a real impact on furthering the careers of hundreds of consultants that have been placed by FDM. She knows that the new trainees must put their best foot forward when entering the workplace, and she is here to provide them with the professional tools they will need to become successful in the tech world.

The FDM Journey

At FDM we provide veterans a guided transition into a civilian career in business or tech. Over 300+ veterans of various ranks have joined our program since 2012. We welcome transitioning service members, veterans and their spouses to apply. Our program is run for veterans, by veterans who recognize the range of transferrable skills and unique value that you bring to business. 

Our Veterans Careers Program earned us recognition as a VETS Indexes Recognized Employer as part of the 2022 VETS Indexes Employer Awards. We are also rightly proud to be included in the prestigious Military Times Best for Vets: Employers list nine years in a row.

So if you’re looking for your next career move after leaving the military, apply to our Veteran Careers Program today.