A 20-year US Coast Guard veteran, George Kovatch rose to ship command in USCG ships before moving on to Washington where he served as a Coast Guard Fellow on the Senate Appropriations Committee. At the 20-year mark of his Coast Guard career, George decided to retire from active duty and transition to the private sector. He later returned to serve in government, most notably as Deputy Comptroller (Budget & Appropriations Affairs) in the Department of Defense.
While studying business in his senior year at college, George took a summer internship with the US Coast Guard where they actively tried to recruit him for active duty. George completed his senior year of college and chose a full-time civilian role at a USCG district office in Boston. His decision to transition to active duty came after the famous perfect storm rescue off the coast of New England on Halloween, 1990.
George attended Officer Candidate School and set out to be a Coast Guard Ship Captain. His afloat assignments were on larger Coast Guard medium endurance cutters and a patrol boat out of Miami. George obtained his MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and transferred to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, DC where he served as a financial manager.
George then served on the CG Cutter Vigilant at Cape Canaveral before returning to Washington, DC as a Coast Guard Fellow on the Senate Appropriations Committee. That brought him to the 20-year career mark and the decision to transition out of active duty.
His post-military career includes being a Senior Advisor for a medium-sized private sector company seeking assistance in selling to the Department of Homeland Security. After two years in the private sector, George returned to the US government in a Senior Executive Service position with DHS before becoming the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of the Navy, and later as the Deputy Comptroller (Budget & Appropriations Affairs), Department of Defense.
Click to expand
00:01:42 – 00:08:51: George shares what lead him to Officer Candidate School and a 20-year career with the United States Coast Guard. He also shares his “afloat assignments” as and the various ships he served in. He obtained his MBA and later served as a Coast Guard Fellow on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
00:08:52 – 00:22:31 George talks about the decision to transition out of active duty after serving 20 years with USCG and his post-military career journey.
00:22:32 – 00:30:39 Gene and George discuss how to prepare for a post-military career transition.
I believe those with prior military service often possess enormous untapped potential. Service offers all members a framework for success, but learning to apply those lessons takes effort. I hope the shared examples of adapting to new situations during service will remind you of your own hard-won lessons in courage, leadership, and diplomacy. After retirement from service, you must draw on your senses of situational awareness and discernment to create your own light list. Blooming where planted has certainly worked for me time after time. But after military service, you really can choose where you want to plant yourself. genemoran.com/make-your-move/
Connect with Gene on LinkedIn for more useful tips and proven strategies to maximize your post-military career success.
Connect with George on LinkedIn.
Pre-order your copy of Million Dollar Influence: How to Drive Powerful Decisions through Language, Leverage, and Leadership at milliondollarinfluence.net