MYM Episode 58 with GRANT KHANBALINOV copy

58: Gathering Perspective with Grant Khanbalinov

From Electrician’s Mate to Career Recruiter. If you have seen any of the US Navy’s social media posts prior to 2021, chances are Grant Khanbalinov was the talent behind the media.


Grant Khanbalinov joined the U.S. Navy as an electrician’s mate, serving on two ships and completing six deployments before becoming a career recruiter at U.S. Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, Tennessee. As a national social media trainer, Khanbalinov shared his knowledge of how various social networks are used to communicate the benefits of a career with the Navy. In his final role as a career recruiter, he managed all social media accounts for the Navy from the Pentagon.

Khanbalinov was promoted to Chief in eight years and had planned to make a career out of the Navy. His plans changed when he faced a medical evaluation board after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After serving nearly 13 years of active duty, he transitioned out of the military and began working with the civilian ad agency he worked closely with while serving in the Navy. Currently, he is working at Amazon in their healthcare organization.

Khanbalinov shares how networking with civilians and veterans helped him through the Medical Evaluation Board process and find civilian career opportunities. His advice to people leaving the military is to take a short break before jumping into another career, use the time to gain perspective, and focus on what life will be like in the civilian world.

Grant is still very much active on social media, such as TikTok, where he has 3.2 million followers.

Episode Highlights

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01:01 – 07:37 A 13-year active-duty US Navy career.

07:38 – 11:59 A Medical Evaluation Board leads to transition.

12:00 – 16:48 Networking with civilians and veterans for transition guidance.

16:49 – 24:50 Work/Life balance and lessons learned.

Your Move

“As a retired Naval Officer I could really appreciate Gene’s insights on making a tough decision to leave the Navy and even hard decision to leave “corporate safety” and strike out on his own. Gene’s insights are meaningful and thought provoking! He does a wonderful job of weaving story telling with practical approaches to career management. I think in today’s crazy world, job fulfillment is more important than ever so I appreciate the approach!” – Marty Groover

Gene’s book, Make Your Move – Charting Your Post-Military Career is for you if you’re considering a transition into a career that fulfills you.

  • Connect with Grant Khanbalinov on LinkedIn here.
  • Follow Grant on TikTok here.

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Gene Moran

Gene spent nearly 25 years in uniform, serving in six ships and more than ten duty stations, and visiting over 50 countries serving as a US Navy Surface Warfare Officer and retiring as a Captain. In corporate, he led legislative affairs for a large international defense company from the Washington, DC office. In doing so, Gene gained a detailed understanding of the defense industrial base and supply chains of myriad platforms, systems and capabilities. Then in 2013, he took the leap to start his own business, Capitol Integration. Since then Gene has helped scores of companies improve their federal positions.

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