Mavenblogs: Military hiring – Six attributes of the Veteran consultant

Roger Hopper, Managing Director of Midwest Operations, provides insights into what distinguishes the Veterans from the average industry consultant and what attracts them to the Mavendog brand and mission.


Veterans are a big part of the Mavendog consultant-recruiting model. Whether the Veteran has just left the Military; has been out for a while; or is still serving through the Guard or Reserve, he or she is a natural fit with the Mavendog culture.

It’s important to note that we don’t value military leadership experience more highly than civilian leadership experience. Not by any means. We want as broad a diversity of experience and deep specialization as possible. But for Veterans looking for his or her next (and often final) career step, Mavendog offers an unparalleled platform.


1. Senior Military Leaders:

Mavendog is a destination company for top project managers, business analysts, and change managers in their field. The candidates that make it through our vetting process understand leadership and problem solving, and how they are practiced from the small team level, up to an executive level. As a result, Mavendog doesn’t attract just any Veteran. We have found that senior military leaders (to include field grade officers and senior noncommissioned officers) naturally and enthusiastically gravitate to Mavendog.

2. Specialization:

Mavendogs with military experience are unique and naturally specialized within their officer branch, or enlisted Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Throughout their careers, they have a track record of project, program, and change management successes. Diverse service opportunity sets within the military allow Mavendog to offer clients project leadership in very niche domains (e.g., logistics, supply chain, large-scale procurement, IT systems and application integrations, cyber security, and more).

3. Certifications and Advanced Training:

Mavendog Veterans have industry certifications in project and change management. For example:

  • Project Management Institute (PMI)-based certifications
  • Scrum Alliance®-based certifications
  • Six Sigma-based certifications
  • Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP)-based certifications
  • Prosci-based certification (Change Management Certification Program)

In many cases these certifications pale in comparison to their military accomplishments. Nevertheless, certifications help quell fears that Mavendog Veterans can’t communicate outside of non-military circles. After all that’s what the certifications are for – not only to master best practices, but also to learn and communicate in a common business language.

4. Trust:

An added bonus of our Veterans is that many still carry active TS/SCI-cleared (Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information) coverage. This clearance is obviously important for Department of Defense engagements. But in general, it provides our clients an added layer of trust and security, particularly for highly confidential engagements. In our Unilateral Project Management division, some projects must remain secret until a certain milestone. These initiatives can be common for company re-orgs, mergers, divestitures, and so on. Our Mavendogs bring the same level of sensitivity and confidentiality to the table.

5. Ethos (attitude, spirit, and code):

Mavendog Veterans bring an ethos to their project work. It is an ethos that they first discovered when they got into the Military and have kept throughout their entire professional career. This ethos informs their overarching belief system and helps sustain the values to which they adhere – such as duty, respect, loyalty, hard work, and perseverance. These values are core to Mavendog spirit, and they bring a sense of purpose and drive to the Mavendog mission – refusing to quit on themselves AND our clients. It many cases Mavendog Veterans have had experiences that are outright awe-inspiring. Our mission is to “Help clients get through the tough projects that are critical to their company vision with speed, precision, and professionalism.” We can’t envision anything more challenging than executing project work in a wartime setting. But some of our Mavendog Veterans have done just that.

6. Leadership:

Naturally, we want to tap-in to a Mavendog Veteran’s experience and track record of success. Most significantly, though, we harness his or her natural tendencies of long-practiced leadership, accountability, and ownership (something that is unparalleled in the private sector). Leadership is what stands Mavendog consultants apart. We could just as easily call them leaders as opposed to consultants. We view the term interchangeably. Moreover, the high intensity of project consulting work demands these leadership traits, whether it is navigating the political waters of a portfolio management exercise or overcoming the tactical obstacles of a project recovery engagement.


Next up:  In a later Blog, we will take a deeper dive into some of the concepts and methodologies (business processes, quality management, strategic planning, etc.) that the military uses; how they give Veterans an edge; and how they influence Mavendog’s posture on performance quality. Core themes include (1) Leadership vision and commitment; (2) Mission and customer focus; (3) Employee empowerment; and (4) Continuous improvement.


About the Author
Roger Hopper is the Managing Director of Mavendog’s Midwest operations, based in Northeast Ohio. A Veteran of the Army National Guard, Roger Hopper has worked in both a legal operations and personnel capacity in the United States Army Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps. Roger holds a Masters degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Together with his experience in the military and private sector, Roger is a co-developer of Mavendog’s Project Recovery Services and Investigative Analysis divisions, tapping into his subject matter expertise in vulnerability analysis; strategic planning and management; institutional leadership and coordination.

His background gives him a unique eye for potential candidates who have the grit, temperament, and dedication to handle the tough challenges of a Mavendog project.