Not long before retiring, Matt Morrone had the ultimate Army job: Ranger School instructor. As a leader in the final phase of the grueling 63-day training course, Morrone directed students in mission planning and execution in the swamplands of Florida. He taught everything from small boat operations to raid and ambush techniques to handling of poisonous snakes.
It's no picnic - students get less than 2 hours of sleep each night in addition to the constant action - and 70% of all students fail. After four years of ranger instruction, Morrone settled into an assignment as an ROTC instructor before retiring in September 2006.
He was clear on what he wanted to do next: "I found a passion in teaching and training people," says Morrone, who is now a corporate trainer with Matco Tools in Stowe, Ohio. Morrone teaches a 10-day course where franchisees learn the basics, along with the company's proprietary systems - everything they need to get out on their trucks and be familiar with the tools they'll be marketing and the software they'll use. The skills he used in the military easily transferred to his job as a trainer.
"You have to take information, decipher it and put it out in a format people can understand," says Morrone. "And you have to be a leader and be able to influence people (while teaching)." He loves the job--and his new career--so much he's beginning to study for a master's degree in corporate instruction.
Morrone has a few words of advice for would-be veterans looking to make a fresh start: "You really have to translate military words and certificates and learn to speak civilianese. It took practice. So start early. It takes some time to sit down and write and effective resume; military people don't have resumes." Morrone says a friend with a civilian job helped him wade through the process.