84. Get to Know the USO

Show Notes | October 22, 2020 | Episode 84

As a relatively new Navy spouse, VirtForce founder Kimber Hill didn’t know all the USO had to offer until about two years ago.

She always thought of them as a morale booster organization. But turns out, the USO is much more than entertainment for the troops or a place to take a nap at the airport.

After Kimber started VirtForce, she realized there are many organizations out there supporting military spouses and the USO is one of the best. 

If you thought the USO is just entertainment and airport perks, think again.

In this episode, we’re uncovering USO secrets to career readiness for milspouses and military service members.

Much like VirtForce, the USO is connecting military spouses and service members to careers, and they do it through professional development services like their USO Pathfinder Transition Program.

In a recent Facebook Live session, Kimber discussed how the Pathfinder program helps military spouses and transitioning service members navigate the education and career resources available to them with two guests from the USO.

Guest Lauren Kovaleski was living and working in the fine art industry in New York before she married her high school sweetheart and became an Army wife living in Kansas.

It was a big transition. There wasn’t a lot of fine art in Kansas. Lauren had to reinvent herself.

She started working for the USO a month after becoming a military spouse. She has learned about being a military spouse herself while assisting the military community in her role as the USO Pathfinder operations site manager at Fort Campbell.    

The USO Pathfinder program is designed to be a one-stop shop to help navigate a career journey, like Lauren’s, or military life in general, says USO Pathfinder program development specialist and veteran spouse Danielle Haro.

There are so many resources out there it can get overwhelming, so the USO pairs you with a transition specialist who works as a resource navigator, or critical connector, with a highly personalized approach.

The transition specialists map out a personalized Action Plan that is customized to each military spouse or service member.

The Action Plan is an accessible and user-friendly feature that can be added to the USO mobile app. It keeps you on track and connects you to the right resources as identified by your transition specialist.

The USO Pathfinder program is focused on resources related to:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial wellness
  • Mentorship

You don’t know how important a personalized conversation with a transition specialist, or a mentor, can be until you have it.

Example: A few weeks ago, a VirtForce member asked, “When do I turn in my two weeks’ notice if I’m moving overseas?” It wasn’t until she had a one-on-one conversation with Kimber, she realized she could instead pitch herself as a remote employee.

A recent survey found a major move is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, imagine moving many times over throughout the course of your career.

Military spouses can forget just how resilient they are. It’s nice to connect with others who know what you are going through.

That’s why the USO wants to invite you to the next Coffee Connection Live, a virtual conversation for military spouses to connect around the world, on Friday, Oct. 23 at 1 pm EST. (Link in the show notes below.)

Don’t say you’re just a military spouse. You’re not just a military spouse. Even though you move all the time and you feel like your career journey is a challenge, you bring so much to the table.

Have confidence in yourself. Don’t cut yourself short, and remember, the USO and VirtForce are here to support you.

Tune in to hear our digital audience’s first impressions of the USO, and the questions they had as they learned more about what the USO has to offer.

If you are interested in connecting with the USO Pathfinder Transition Program visit USO.org/transition or email transition@USO.org.

If you are a new listener to VirtForce podcast, we would love to hear from you. Please email support@virtforce.wpengine.com and let us know how we can help you today.

Links and Resources



VirtForce Facebook Group

Kimber Hill LinkedIn

MilSpouse CoffeeHouse Podcast

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

USO Pathfinder Transition Program

USO’s Military Virtual Programming series

USO Coffee Connection Live

Resume Boot Camp
Freemium Course (Episodes 47-60): https://bit.ly/RBCEp47
Premium: http://bit.ly/vf-bc

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