Twelve years in the U.S. Air Force taught Alicia Datzman to plan and pull off a mission. Datzman, a former B-1 Lancer pilot, was also a scheduler – a role that required solving problems, factoring in variables and working around complications.
“I love it, but I love Sudoku. I love solving the jigsaw puzzle,” said Datzman, who now works in strategy for Collins Aerospace, an RTX business.
In the Air Force, scheduling meant figuring out what kind of crew she would need – how many, how experienced, how rested they would be at the time – as well as how long they would need to refuel and reload.
For her job at Collins’ Mission Systems business, it has meant reading documents such as OV-1s – static diagrams of missions and military concepts – and working with colleagues to envision in living detail all those aircraft, ships and ground vehicles in action.
Datzman’s time in the Air Force – and specifically, her studies at its Weapons School – also taught her how to deal with disagreement productively.
“I have a healthy relationship with conflict,” Datzman said. “When you get a bunch of Weapons School grads in a room, they’re going to disagree with each other, but something good is going to come out of that room.”
Brandi Carlton had a similar transition from the Army, where she served seven years and worked as a logistics officer, coordinating resources so operational teams could succeed on their missions.
Carlton, who joined RTX in 2022, now works with teams across the company to support commercial airline customers on matters such as invoicing, shipping, quality, claims and accounts receivable. She often uses the problem-solving skills she honed in the service.
“I never know what problems are going to arise or who I will need to coordinate with, so I really have to think on my feet and problem-solve, take a step back and analyze: How do I empower our team to fix this issue and get the customer what they need?” said Carlton, a senior regional account representative at Collins Aerospace.
“My military experience has definitely helped me excel in my role,” she said. “It has provided me the skills needed to be flexible, resourceful and adaptable, especially working remotely – being self-sufficient and taking accountability for my duties.”