JACKSONVILLE, FL (MAY 26, 2017) – Military members transitioning from active duty to civilian life face many challenges when they return home – not the least of which is the ability to obtain high-paying, rewarding career opportunities.  Although educated, trained and highly skilled, these veterans often find themselves less competitive in the professional marketplace compared with civilian candidates who have taken a more traditional path.  

Enter Operation New Uniform (ONU), a Jacksonville-based non-profit organization dedicated to addressing these challenges by equipping veterans with the business acumen, career search skills, confidence and networking connections to thrive in the business world (operationnewuniform.org).  The program immerses veterans in a positive team environment comprised of successful veterans, business professionals and accomplished educators, and gives them the tools and resources to secure meaningful careers. 

On Friday, June 2nd, nine veterans who have graduated from the program will be honored during a graduation ceremony scheduled to take place at Citi (14000 Citicards Way, Jacksonville, Florida 32258) from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

“ONU provides veterans with the tools to tackle obtaining a fulfilling, post-military career. The demand for ONU’s services has led to over 300 veterans that apply each year that we are unable to serve due to financial constraints. ONU needs corporations to hire and financially support our veterans, but we also need individuals in the community to take financial responsibility for serving those who’ve served us selflessly,” said ONU Executive Director Justin Justice.  

Guest speakers will include a representative from Citi, as well as Operation New Uniform Staff and Cohort 8 ONU Veteran, Adam Singletary, who now has a fulfilling career as a contractor at Boeing.  VyStar Credit Union will also be recognized as an 2017 ONU Veteran Committed Company at the Silver Level. 

ONU Cohort 19 graduates:

James DeBold is a Navy Veteran with 25 years of service and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Janelle Fields is an Air Force Veteran with 3 years of service, and an MBA in Financial Management from Northcentral University.

Robert McGregor is a Navy Veteran with 26 years of service, an MBA and Bachelor’s in Computer Systems from Jacksonville University, and a Masters in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.

Robert Mercado is a Marine Corps and Navy Veteran with 30 years of service.  He possesses a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from National University, and a Master’s of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling from Azusa Pacific University.  He is currently a interning as a Marriage and Family Therapist. 

Greg Pierce is an Air Force Veteran with 26 years of service and a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Columbia Southern University.

Yashica Rivers is an Army Veteran with 7 years of service and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Columbia College.

Paul Russ is a Navy Veteran with 20 Years of service, a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from Strayer University.

Carmelo Sanchez is a Navy Veteran with 30 years of service and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Columbia College. 

Craig Soleim is a Navy Veteran with 30 years of service holding a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences, along with a certifications in Senior Project Management and Associate Project Coordinator.

CONTACT:  Sterling Tyler, Director of Marketing, Operation New Uniform, (904) 328-1600