Coming Home to the Civilian World – An IAW Veteran Shares Her Story


The thought of leaving the military can be a frightening concept for soldiers and their families. The life that once seemed normal—deployments, training, provisional assignments—is suddenly gone, and the transition to the civilian workforce can be overwhelming, to say the least.

IAW thrives on the diversity of our membership. We support our Veterans and believe that military experience helps create natural leaders in the civilian workforce.


Join us as we honor IAW member, Jessica Vincent
Military veteran, mother, wife, daughter, community member and victim advocate.

Here’s Jessica’s story about her transition from military to civilian career:

Jessica served 18 years in the US Army, 15 years of which were spent in non-traditional military missions as a Senior Intelligence Specialist and Operator supporting a Special Mission Unit operating in the Military District of Washington, DC. During her time in the service, Jessica recalls “a world of opportunity for soldiers,” but at the same time, an extremely difficult family life—especially during the “high deployment tempo of war.”

With a specialty in Signals and Human Intelligence gathering and reporting, Jessica has extensive regional deployment experience in austere environments such as the Balkans, Southwest Asia and the Saudi Peninsula supporting NATO war crimes investigations and the global war on terror. She continues to support the US Army Reserve in the same unit.

“The military provides a world of opportunity for soldiers, but family life is extremely difficult, especially during the high deployment tempo of war.” –Jessica Vincent

For Jessica, the transition from the military to a civilian career was anything but easy. She left Regular Army service in 2006 in order to start a family and soon discovered that applying her life experience from the military to the civilian world was simply not enough, especially without a college degree.

After the military, Jessica landed her first job with her hometown employer, Boeing. She applied for an anti-terrorism corporate security position, and instead was hired as a physical security guard making $15 an hour. While awaiting training, Jessica’s expertise was in demand at their anti-terrorism task force, which included local, state and federal law enforcement. Due to some corporate quagmire requiring a degree, she wasn’t able to continue in that position and left Boeing disappointed.

With a rare set of skills that didn’t translate well into the civilian world, Jessica reluctantly went into government contracting. In this role, she was responsible for developing the Army’s comprehensive 30-hour all-source Company Intelligence Support Team course, and supporting Mobile Training Teams for the Wolfhound project known as the Army’s “Greatest Invention” of 2010. Jessica recognized that for her, there was no future in government contracting as it limited freedom of thought, funding was consistently being cut and it was slow in adapting new applications.

Jessica’s transition from military to family / civilian life has been a challenging one because she considers herself as a person who “can’t sit still.”

“I struggle to find that position that challenges me both mentally and physically. I’m not unlike many veterans who crave the familiar dangers of deployment and living in a high-stress environment. I’m always trying to push myself further by taking on more responsibility and moving forward.” –Jessica Vincent

It has taken Jessica nine years to discover the positions she wanted to fulfill. Instead of adapting her skills to available jobs, she chose to find the most rewarding positions that matched her skills. With time, patience and dedicated support from her husband, Travis Vincent, Jessica and her family have adapted well. She continues to acclimate to her work tempo with downtime activities including football and dance classes to keep herself active and on her feet.

As a student of life, Jessica has several life projects and goals as a business owner, nonprofit co-founder and corporate employee for a venture capital group. As owner of Grey Guise LLC, a small, economically disadvantaged veteran-woman-owned business, Jessica fulfills niche government contracting needs such as training, support and development for Special Forces units.

As a Co-founder of 4P Project, a non-government organization (NGO) with pending 501(c)3 non-profit status, Jessica is learning, teaching, communicating and collaborating while enhancing her community. The 4P Project aims to combat human trafficking in Southeastern Arizona and creates awareness through conversation and collaboration with Southeastern Arizona communities. The 4P Project is designed to engage the community about diverse human trafficking subjects, and assist in adopting and implementing preventative measures against human trafficking. Jessica’s mother and IAW member, Stephanie Ransom is also a Co-founder of 4P Project.

An analyst by trade, Jessica adapted her knowledge and task force networking skills to her programs at 4P Project, where they are now founding members of the Southern Arizona Anti-Trafficking Unified Response Network (SAATURN). The program has exponentially reached the community since its launch in January 2015.

In her professional career as the Intelligence Director for Counter Human Trafficking Compliance Solutions (CHTCS), Jessica enjoys working with fellow veterans who understand how to work in a team environment and independently without structured guidance. CHTCS is a global compliance and advisory company that provides on-site assessments, improvement plans, training, research and supply chain transparency required for corporations to combat human trafficking, forced labor and child labor. CHTCS creates an open dialog with corporations about Corporate Social Responsibility in regards to human trafficking.

“At CHTCS, I am able to apply all my military skills to a civilian solution while protecting victims of human trafficking. I can’t think of a better position for me after 18 years of military service.”


Contact Jessica Vincent on

Additional Information:

4P Project
Twitter @4pproject

Twitter @chtcs or @linda_rizk

We want to hear from you! Are you a veteran who is transitioning or transitioned into the civilian workforce? What are some challenges you have faced or continue to face? What advice would you give to a veteran in transition?

Please leave your comments. When you’re done, keep the conversation going on Facebook and Twitter.

  1. Linda D. Wattley

    Hi Jessica, it is so wonderful to read your story. People would be amazed of the mental and emotional adjustments our soldiers go through in their transitioning from Military to civilian life. It matters not if you are in or not in a war zone, the return home is difficult. It is almost like being on another planet LOL. I remember leaving the Army in my younger days and it was peace time. What I missed most were my comrades. You have actual unity that is not quite as strong in civilian life. My son did two terms in Iraq, need I say more. Watching him suffer and struggle was quite painful. Anyway I am so proud of you and wanted you to know that.

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