It was only after Aaron Kletzing and Yinon Weiss met at Harvard Business School that they realized they’d served together.
At the same outpost outside of Taji, just north of Baghdad, Kletzing served as an Army fire support officer and Weiss commanded a team of special forces. Seeing each other again in Boston made it sink in how armed service members have strong, but often brief, professional interactions.
"People in the military moved around so much," Kletzing said. "And they meet new people professionally everywhere they go, and then they move again."
On this Veterans Day holiday, the two retired officers are using their Harvard Business School training to launch a new social network. Called “RallyPoint,” the idea is to help military personnel and veterans stay connected.
The website looks somewhat like the professional social network LinkedIn. But you have to have a military email address to sign up. You also list your rank and deployments. Instead of business units, the hierarchy goes by command structure.
"HHC, 304th CA BDE, 353rd CACOM," Weiss read from one member's profile. "That’s gibberish to most people, but anybody in the military, at least in the Army, would be able to interpret that very easily."
Besides helping military personnel to stay in touch after they’ve served together, RallyPoint could help those still on active duty find out more about their next assignment.
"There’s a culture of misconception in the military that people cannot influence their careers," Weiss said, "that they just get orders every couple of years, and they just go to where they’re told."
That attitude doesn't work in today's tough job market. Members of the armed forces need to be networking for the right civilian job long before they leave the military.
This program aired on November 12, 2012.