“From Soldier to Civilian — But Always an Engineer”
Civil Engineering magazine features an essay from Freese and Nichols Executive Vice President Jeff Payne sharing lessons learned through transitioning from military civil engineer to the civilian sector.
Here are some excerpts from “From soldier to civilian — but always an engineer“:
“After 20 years in the military — eight as an active-duty U.S. Air Force officer and 12 in the reserves — and now roughly 15 years in the private sector (plus a short stint when I was recalled to active duty in the early 2000s), I have had a foot, and boot, in both worlds. A critical lesson I learned from each experience is the importance of teamwork, though the actual form of the teams and the requirements to make things work smoothly can be quite different.”
“Ultimately, whether you’re meeting the short-term goals of a mission or serving the long-term needs of the public, it helps to keep this thought in mind: You’re not in this alone. Lead your team well, and they’ll help you get where you need to go.”
Jeff joined Freese and Nichols in 2005 and has designed and managed multiple urban and rural water transmission and wastewater conveyance projects across North Texas. He managed the North Texas Municipal Water District’s Lake Texoma to Wylie Pipeline project and has been a leader on NTMWD’s Bois d’Arc Lake program. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and retired from the service in 2017 as a lieutenant colonel.