Hiring our heroes

Military Sergeant to assist veterans and military families

Waynesburg University welcomed Master Sergeant Jeffrey Ladisic, director of the Office of Military Families and Veteran Affairs, to a fellowship with the university Jan. 13 through the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program, sponsored by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The professional development offered through the program prepares candidates for a smooth transition into civilian careers. Participating corporations, Ladisic said, benefit by gaining access to transitioning service members, while also developing a more comprehensive understanding of the veteran job market.

As a fellow to the university, Ladisic will create a center for veterans, focusing on assisting and recruiting veterans, as well as active duty and reserve service members and their families.

After being introduced in 2015, the Corporate Fellowship Program has since grown to maintain 15 locations, along with an additional remote program. Ladisic said he is part of the remote program and is also the first fellow to be hosted in the Greater Pittsburgh Region.

The fellowship features a 12-week syllabus and runs three times a year, explained Ladisic. Each cohort consists of 15–30 active duty service members and may also include veterans and military spouses.

“Fellowship candidates are carefully matched with participating companies based on the specific skills of the candidate and the preferences of both parties,” Ladisic said. “Candidates then undergo exclusive on-the-job training at their host company, gaining firsthand experience in the private sector. This real-world experience is augmented by weekly educational sessions for the cohort, held in a classroom setting.”

As a Cavalry Scout with 20 years in the U.S. Army under his belt, Ladisic has been deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq during his service. Having served as a Cavalry Non-Commissioned Officer, he is expected to retire as a first sergeant in the spring of this year. 

Ladisic’s accomplishments consist of earning the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal twice, the Army Commendation Medal seven times, Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal and the Army Achievement Medal three times.

With a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a Master Resilience Training Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania, Ladisic is working through the CFP fellowship to educate students at Waynesburg University on how to go into active duty or reserve and guiding veterans and their family members in their endeavors of pursuing their education. 

“When I started to look at what I am going to do after I retire, Waynesburg University was always in the back of my mind,” Ladisic said.

Even with all of the new responsibilities and expectations, Ladisic is enjoying this rewarding position.

“I can’t express how excited I am to have the opportunity to help veterans and their families. I also feel so blessed to be able to do it at Waynesburg University,” Ladisic said. “The environment here is truly fantastic and I am so encouraged by the genuine sense of caring from all the faculty and staff.”