JANUARY 10, 2023 – Figuring out what will help a service member in their transition from the military to the civilian workforce can be a challenge. For former Dogface Soldier, Michael Price, it was his career goals, networking, and extensive research into the Daytona Beach Police Department that made his transition a success in April 2021.
Price served in the Army for 11 years first as a Combat Engineer and then as a truck driver with the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. He started his transition with the Fort Stewart Transition Assistance Program nine months out from separation, though he says he wishes he started earlier to balance work, family, and his transition planning. The TAP Financial Planning and Veterans Affairs benefits and services workshops helped him the most, especially with filing for his VA claim.
Price always wanted to become a Police Officer. After hearing great things about the work environment from a friend at the Department, he decided to reach out to their recruiter. In less than one week he was in Florida for a physical fitness test and an interview. The hiring process took approximately 3 months.
“I wanted to be a Police Officer [in] Daytona, and nothing was going to stop me,” he said. “I started planning the day I made that choice. My plan took time. Once I got that badge my job wasn’t done; I had to continue to learn and improve. I go into work every day with a pressed uniform and shined boots— the way I carry myself I stand out like a sore thumb. I use every mistake I make to learn. I keep everything honest and never quit. My attitude is the same in my personal life as it is in my professional life.”
Often, transitioning Soldiers question what skills are transferrable to their new career.
“From the moment you step into the Police Academy, to arriving on a call to help someone,” he said. This job is all about communication and dissemination of information; the Army gave me those skills. The Daytona Beach Police Department always looks for military veterans because we have life skills that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Price shared that there is yet to be a day where he doesn’t want to go into work.
“When I go into work, I go from helping a mom of 3 get out from under her abusive boyfriend and locking him up, to sitting and talking with a kid who thinks running away is the answer to his troubles,” he said. “That example actually happened— it was a great day. I love this job.”
Officer Price also has an important story to share when it comes to the civilian workforce.
“The day you walk in those doors you feel proud of all the preparation it took because all of that planning and executing took time and didn’t just fall into your lap,” Price said. “The day I walked in, I met Officer Sean Walker. His first words to me were ‘Leave Your Ego at Home.’ That stuck with me, and I want it to stick with anyone coming into the civilian world. Civilians don’t understand what it took to get to where you are, they don’t understand two to three month field problems. We have to find a way to communicate with employers that they can understand. I left my ego when I wanted that job and I leave it every day I put that uniform on. That thought process keeps me on my feet and proud to call myself a Veteran and a Daytona Beach Police Officer.”
TAP would like to congratulate Officer Michael Price on his successful transition and thank him for sharing his story. Officer Price is now part of the Daytona Beach Police Department recruiting staff. If you are interested in finding out more about a career with the Department, you can contact him directly, at PriceMichael@DBPD.us
Visit https://portal.armytap.army.mil to register and complete the online Transition Assistance Program self-assessment. For more information, call 767-0052 on Fort Stewart or 315-5854 on Hunter Army Airfield. TAP on Facebook for job postings and 2023 in-person Job Fairs at facebook.com/StewartHunterTAP.
Story by Amanda Hook
Fort Stewart Transition Assistance Program