59: Describing Your Capabilities and Skillsets with Kristen Alexander

Former U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer, Kristen Alexander, shares how outreach and dialogue can create multiple post-military career opportunities.


Retired U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer Kristen Alexander served on the USS Sampson and USS Pearl Harbor before becoming the first experimentation officer at the Surface and Mine Warfare Development Center in San Diego.

Her duties included developing a course of study to train surface warfare officers in tactics proficiency. Kristen was also responsible for collaborating with industry and academia to identify new technologies and tactics to help close warfighting capability gaps.

Kristen had been exposed to various organizations and networks throughout her military career, which ultimately led to career opportunities in civilian life. Her plan to transition out of the Navy was public, and companies interested in Kristen’s skills reached out. She received multiple job offers and ultimately accepted a position as a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

She also discusses why having a timeline going into transition can assist with post-military career planning.

Episode Highlights

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02:14 – 09:13 Kristen’s US Navy active-duty career.

09:15 – 36:25 The decision to transition out of the military and how connections and networks lead to opportunities.

36:26 – 39:19 Lessons learned and finding balance.

Your Move

Have you ordered your copy of Make Your Move?

“Make Your Move is a pure joy to read! Gene Moran writes in a simple educational way that is both entertaining storytelling and mentoring wrapped up in one. His book helps set the stage to prepare anyone separating from the service no matter how long they were on active duty. His stories enlighten and spark a sense of, “Oh, that’s what I need to do! My only advice for future readers, don’t wait until you are preparing to get out of the service to buy this book. Instead, buy it while you are still in and heed the advice along the rest of your journey. Thus, setting yourself up for success well in advance. I wish I had a book like this much earlier in my career!” – Jeffrey H.

All proceeds for the book go to Freedom Fighter Outdoors.

  • Ready to chart your post-military career? Order your copy of Make Your Move here.
  • Connect with Kristen Alexander on LinkedIn 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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