Veterans Scholarship Spotlight: From Career Air Force to a Career in BCM

Chris Holton drove two hours each way just to attend a one-hour information session on DRI’s Veterans Outreach Scholarship Program. What drove Holton to do all that driving?

He read about the program and “it just clicked. I’d never heard of this career field before, but I was excited enough to make a two-hour drive there and a two-hour drive back for a one-hour meeting. And after I left the briefing, I got home and told my wife, ‘Yup, I’m going to go do this.’”  

With a 30-year career in the Air Force, Holton, who retired as a full colonel, has no shortage of experience. In fact, he says his experience makes him an “easy fit” for a continuity career. He’s right!

Over the course of his career, Holton was the commander of 26 offices during his last command running federal investigations into criminal threats, as well as counter intelligence and counter terrorism investigations. “Along the way, I also had responsibility for continuity of operations planning and supporting Air Force technologies,” he says, as he continues to rattle off a resume tailor-made for a resilience role. Risk assessments? Check. Crisis management? Check. Hurricane planning? Check. Dealing with different levels in an organization, communicating with C-level execs, working with local, state, federal, and international counterparts, plan testing? Check them all off; he’s done that too.

“I’ve got a big smile on my face right now because it just fits logically based on my work experience,” Holton says. “After that initial briefing, I could see the linkages, and I got excited right then and there and said to myself ‘Wow, this is what I’ve been doing! I’m an easy fit for it because I’ve done it.’”

Holton attended the DRI’s business continuity course on a full scholarship through the DRI Foundation’s Veterans Outreach Scholarship Program, a scholarship for which he says he is “extremely grateful.” The program enables qualified veterans to obtain DRI business continuity training and get certified free of charge. Attending the course brought it all together for Holton, and he’s now a newly-certified CBCP who is already interviewing for private sector business continuity positions.

“There are job opportunities that without the certification I wouldn’t have made the cut,” Holton says. “I’ve had two interviews already, and if I didn’t have that certification, I wouldn’t have gotten my foot in the door.”

We think Holton is off on the right foot, and we’re proud to support him on the road to a resilience career. We just hope his commute isn’t two hours each way.

About the DRI Foundation Veterans Outreach Program

The DRI Foundation is committed to helping our veterans succeed. To do its part, the Foundation has created a Veterans Outreach Program to help veterans realize their dreams and help both themselves and their respective organizations achieve great success as they transition into the professions of emergency response, crisis management, business continuity and disaster recovery.

The Veterans Outreach Program’s focus is to establish an industry-first “giving-back” scholarship program to active duty or recently separated (within five years) veterans of our United States Military. The scholarship will include, at no cost to qualified candidates, admission to Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI) educational course (BCLE 2000), all course materials, qualifying examination, and all applicable certification application fees. These certifications are the standards of excellence in business continuity management and will help the candidate to stand out as a job candidate in this competitive field. Certifications acknowledge an individual’s effort to achieve a professional level of competency in the industry.