DRI Veteran’s Scholarship Recipient Now a White House Emergency Manager

Brad Milliken is no stranger to emergency management. From the United States Coast Guard to the White House, Milliken has spent his military and professional career managing and coordinating responses to disasters of all kinds. He’s also a recipient of a DRI Foundation Veterans Outreach Program scholarship, which enabled him to attend DRI training and obtain his CBCP certification at no charge. 

After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy in 2014, Milliken spent two years aboard the USCGC Vigorous as a maritime law enforcement officer. The ship mainly dealt with alien migrant interdiction operations at sea, counter-narcotics, and standard search and rescue operations. When the United States began taking strides to normalize relations with Cuba, Milliken’s introduction to emergency management and humanitarian work began. As the primary Coast Guard asset in the Florida Straits at the time, the USCGC Vigorous worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection on refugee operations, and the mission transformed into a large-scale search and rescue mission.

Following his time on the USCGC Vigorous, Milliken spent three years as a Command Duty Officer at Sector Hampton Roads Command Center in Virginia. During this time, Milliken’s involvement in disaster management developed further. Some of his responsibilities included search and rescue coordination, national security threat response development, and command center supervision. While serving at Sector Hampton Roads Command Center, Milliken earned a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management from Georgetown University.

After 5 years of service, Milliken left the Coast Guard and began working for the Pacific Disaster Center. Initially, he was the disaster response team lead, but later became PDC’s liaison to the National Guard Bureau at the National Guard Headquarters. It was there that he earned his Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) certification. Presently, Milliken is an emergency management specialist at the White House Operations Center.

Speaking on the importance of his CBCP certification, Milliken says that it assisted him in translating concepts he understands from his search and rescue and response experience to different emergency management scenarios. “It’s about the language,” says Milliken, of the CBCP course; he cites the language of the course as one of the most useful tools, helping him to connect and apply already familiar approaches to new and unfamiliar situations.

Milliken also highlighted the value of his certification, especially in the present day. He explained how following the coronavirus pandemic, it is hugely important in emergency management communities to have a certification that proves competence in and knowledge of business continuity.

“It’s for people who want to be taken seriously,” he says. “You need to approach it seriously. You need to be balanced in your professional development and do the work. You really have to be a student of the game. And this course is the work and earning the certification is the proof.”

About the Veterans Outreach Program Scholarship

Disaster Recovery International (DRI) Foundation is committed to helping our veterans succeed. To do our part, the Foundation has created a Veterans Outreach Program to help our 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.

For information, visit https://foundation.drii.org/what-we-do/veterans-outreach-program/

Article by Michelle Masiello for DRI