This Friday is Veterans Day in which we observe our solemn commitment to honor those who have served the United States in the military. While many have paid for our freedom with their lives, countless others have fought throughout history and returned. When veterans return home, they are faced with the challenge of integrating back into society and the workforce. We sat down with NICB’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel Pat Martin, who served in the U.S. Army, and Senior Director of Operations Fred Lohmann, who served as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, to discuss the experience of serving our country and their career development.
What were some challenges you had to overcome integrating back into the workforce?
Pat Martin: The military is very structured, with a strong emphasis on unit cohesion and execution. Many civilian workplaces are less structured and less focused on team goals and achievements, which was challenging.
Fred Lohmann: After the Vietnam War, most veterans received little reaction when they returned home. People seemed uncomfortable around them. Others even expressed hostility and anger toward the military and veterans. The treatment Vietnam War veterans received at home was starkly different from WWll and Korean War veterans. Fortunately, the GI Bill provided educational and training support that personally assisted me in transitioning from my military MOS to that of a civilian police officer. I had a good personal experience in the VA during that time, and I found the counselors very committed to helping me.
How did your time served shape your professional career?
Martin: Serving in the U.S. Army gave me an incredible appreciation for the national security mission and public service as a vocation. It also taught me that when individuals are collectively committed to a mission and one another, they can accomplish great things in furtherance of protecting our nation and its citizens. I have actively sought out that same work culture and broader mission throughout my professional career.
Lohmann: The military provides a sense of purpose, well-defined roles and hierarchy, camaraderie, honor, and a mission. These things can be hard to find in the civilian world. Fortunately, the Marine Corps experience provided me with the discipline and confidence to take on all challenges. The transition from military police to a civilian police officer was a great fit for me. The quasi-military environment, order, and structure of civilian law enforcement was a good fit and suited me well.
What advantage did it give you working at the NICB?
Martin: At its core, the NICB mission is about protecting victims of insurance crime and fraud against bad actors and holding those bad actors accountable.
The military’s mission, like NICB’s, is ultimately about protecting those who may not be as well-equipped to protect themselves.
Lohmann: The Marine Corps instilled in me many things that contributed to my personal and professional success. The core values of leadership, teamwork, strong work ethic, ability to handle stressful situations, self-direction and motivation, discipline, confidence, and a strong sense of taking care of those you work with and are responsible for. Serving at NICB, I am able to utilize my Marine Corps training.
I often say that everything I learned about leading others I learned as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps.
That is where you put to work the basis of leading others and being decisive. All these experiences help shape the person I became. I am very grateful for my experiences in the Marine Corps as it has served me and my employers well over the years.
Thank you, Pat and Fred, for your service, and for all other NICB employees who have generously served our nation. Past and present, veterans on staff have helped shape who we are as an organization today. To all veterans who have served our country and now serve our industry with expert knowledge, a sense of duty, integrity, and honor, we celebrate and thank you.