Date of Award

Spring 3-18-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Douglas DeVore

Second Advisor

Jeffery Lee

Third Advisor

Kyle Chavez


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify and describe the transitional and mentoring experiences as described by veterans who achieve civilian executive leadership positions within Fortune 500 companies.

Methodology: The participants in the study were 8 former military leaders who subsequently achieved senior executive positions within Fortune 500 companies. Participants answered questions about their experience as a military leader and mentee during the service to civilian transition, organizational enculturation, and promotion to a civilian leadership position. Interview transcripts and artifacts were reviewed for the emergence of major topics and themes.

Findings: The participants unanimously credited mentorship experiences as the primary catalyst for their success throughout each phase of professional development. The research also revealed that organizational and personal core values must align to achieve optimum success.

Conclusions: The results of this study support the conclusion that the challenges that veteran leaders experience are consistent and predicative. Additionally, mentorship aids veteran leaders in successful transition and assumption of senior leadership positions within Fortune 500 companies.

Recommendations for Action: The researcher recommends that military and civilian organizations conduct objective assessment of their guiding core values and engage in mentorship programs that link each organization. Veteran leaders who are preparing to separate from military service should educate themselves on Schlosberg’s 4S and Kintzle’s MTT models. Veteran leaders who are armed with this knowledge and supported by consistent mentorship programs that link military and civilian organizations will achieve significantly higher levels of success and reduce the burden on U.S. Taxpayers.