Veterans Scholarship Recipient: It’s ‘A Head Start’ For Transitioning Service Members

After serving in the armed forces for any number of years, veterans are bound to encounter unpredictability during the readjustment to civilian life. James B. Linder, a DRI Foundation Veteran’s Outreach Program Scholarship recipient, believes that the proper way to combat this unpredictability is with preparedness. “The Veteran’s Outreach Program gives veterans a head start,” says Linder, “When you have a good plan, then you have something to transition from.” 

Linder joined the military when he received a Regular Army commission following his graduation from Clemson University. Throughout his time in the military, Linder served mainly in Special Operations Forces; he was responsible for all U.S. Special Operations in Africa as well as all deployed U.S. and NATO Special Operations Forces in combat in Afghanistan. Most recently, Linder served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Special Operations Command in Florida. Currently, Linder is the President of Tenax Aerospace.

Linder believes that his Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) certification has enabled him to make the transition back into the civilian world more easily. “I have something that is a civilian certification,” Linder says, of his CBCP certification, “It translates my skills into something that is a tradable commodity.” Beyond this, Linder even believes that the certification can help instill confidence in veterans who are reentering the civilian world. “This is an indispensable function that we perform by giving some predictability and a head start to our veterans who can hit the civilian streets with confidence.”

Many of the key skills needed for careers in emergency and crisis management are already taught to individuals who serve in the military. “You’re already predisposed to think in a very formulaic way about how to manage crises,” says Linder, “A couple of the key things when you go into a planning phase is a series of contingencies… and many times, these are the same contingencies that we deal with in the civilian world.” Linder believes that the Veteran’s Outreach Program can help veterans to recognize their strengths and apply them to the business world.

“It is a tremendous opportunity for the next step and the next phase of your life,” Linder says. He encourages veterans like himself to take advantage of the path the DRI Foundation Veteran’s Outreach Scholarship provides, “It is a fascinating career that you are already accustomed to. It will be an easy transition. You are already predisposed to be successful in this field.”

“I think for our DRI community, we frontload ourselves with a lot of competence, skill, and professionalism, and at the end of the day, that’s what we want.”

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

Article by Michelle Masiello for DRI