Travis Lawson, American Red Cross
At just 17 years old, Courtney Bullock had joined the United States Air Force with special permission from her parents, beginning what would be more than a 20-year journey in the armed forces. Following her retirement from the military, Courtney searched for a smooth transition to civilian life and discovered that many of the skills she learned in the military made her a great fit for the American Red Cross.
Born into a military family, Courtney was inspired to served in the United States military. During her service, Courtney was responsible for managing the logistics and transportation of troops and equipment around the world, which earned her the distinguished rank of Master Sergeant. In 2005, Courtney left active duty after completing a tour in Iraq and joined the reserves in her hometown of Phoenix. After a brief stint with the Oregon National Guard, she moved back to Phoenix where she officially retired from the military in 2014, concluding a career of 20 years and 7 months serving her country.
Courtney had not been a civilian since she was 17 years old and suddenly found herself searching for a career outside of the military for the first time in her life. After a friend told her about the growing job market in Houston, Courtney decided to relocate to Texas to start her transition to civilian life.
“I came here [Houston] without a job in 2014 after hearing from a friend what a great place Houston was to live and work,” Courtney said. “When I apply for jobs, my main focus is always what feels right in my mind and heart, so when I looked at the Red Cross position I said to myself, ‘I know this organization and this is a job I would like to do.’”
After being with the Red Cross over two years, Courtney is now a regional business operations specialist and works directly under the Debra Murphy-Luera, the Chief Operating Officer for the Texas Gulf Coast and Executive Director for Coastal Bend in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“Our office is like Grand Central Station because there is always a lot going on and there is always something to keep you busy,” Courtney explained. “I come in, go over the daily schedule with our administrative team, make my rounds and get to work on my various projects.”
Courtney also works directly with families affected by disaster to ensure they are taken care of in their time of need. Calling upon her calm nature and patience in high-pressure situations, characteristics instilled in her during her time in the Air Force and Iraq, Courtney helps deliver solutions to those in need of emergency assistance.
“It is never a dull moment but that is what I like most about the job,” said the former Master Sergeant. “I also really enjoy the people, both internally and externally. Buildings are buildings but it’s people that make the buildings great.”
During her time in the military, Courtney worked frequently with the Red Cross as a customer and had a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and work around the world. She believes this is one of many reasons that makes the Red Cross a military friendly employer and why the Red Cross offers an easy transition for veterans looking for similar work in civilian life.
“Word has definitely gotten around the military community that the Red Cross is a place where you can transfer a lot of your skills and jargon learned in the military over to the civilian sector,” Courtney explained. “On the flip side, the Red Cross knows that most military members have the tools to handle disasters and respond during crisis situations.”
The American Red Cross has a long tradition of hiring veterans who serve at all levels of the organization, and in 2017 received the Military Friendly Employers designation from Victory Media. The Red Cross workforce includes approximately 20,500 employees around the world, with an estimated 10% of those employees consisting of transitioning military or veterans.
To learn more about how the Red Cross works with members of the armed forces, visit www.militaryfriendly.com/employers/american-red-cross/.