Jason Medlin grew up an Army brat. After serving in the Army himself, he didn’t have much experience being a civilian when he separated as a sergeant.
“My entire life, I had a connection to the Army—I did not know what to expect leaving the military and living as a civilian,” he said.
He needn’t have worried. Twenty-five years after he left the Army, Medlin today oversees 16 correctional facilities for CoreCivic, a private prison corporation headquartered in Nashville. We asked him about his transition from the military and his subsequent success in the corrections industry.
Q & A with Army Veteran Jason Medlin, Vice President of Facility Operations - Business Unit II
What was your biggest challenge as you left the military?
I left the military from Korea, which made interviewing for jobs difficult—especially for law enforcement and corrections jobs that required in-person interviews. When I returned to the US, I found that employers were looking for candidates with prior military service for a wide array of career fields. This helped me find a number of opportunities in a variety of career fields.
Why did you choose this career after the military?
I have always had a passion for law enforcement and the criminal justice field. I found the transition to corrections was very easy—the paramilitary organization and structure was easy to navigate and I could see a career path where my military training, experience and leadership skills provided value.
What is your current role in the correctional facility?
I am responsible for the operational and management oversight of three operations divisions and 16 correctional facilities contracted for correctional services with eight government partners.
How does your military training and experience help you in your civilian career?
I continue to build on the leadership training and experience I gained from the military. It has been invaluable as a foundation—leading teams in a high stress and complex environment, troubleshooting and developing sustainable plans, developing and coaching subordinates, as well as understanding the importance of continuing to not only train and set expectations for performance, but taking care of those that are doing the work.
Would you recommend this career field and industry to transitioning service members or veterans?
Yes. This is a great career field, regardless of your MOS while serving in the military. The leadership, training and experience will allow transitioning service members to easily fit into a paramilitary organization.
What do you wish you knew when you transitioned from the military that you know now?
It is important to start planning early to transition. Take advantage of the transition assistance classes and don’t let your MOS limit your career field search or opportunities.
GI Jobs Interview with Army Veteran Jason Medlin (Video)
Watch the video to hear the full interview with GI Jobs. He shares how his military experience helped him with his career in the corrections field.