A lot of veterans find it challenging during the transition from active duty to civilian life, this is something that Joe Crane knows well — he’s done it twice. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Crane was commissioned as a 2nd LT in the Marine Corps. He knew that military aviation was his calling before he even began OCS and immediately began flight school. He went on to serve eight years of active duty including two WESTPAC deployments flying AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters. He then made the transition into the reserves and began working as a pilot for commercial airlines, but getting his first job even with his impressive resume took time.
“I go for my first airline interview and I don’t get hired. I go to my second interview and I don’t get hired. I started to think that maybe I shouldnt be doing this but I kept at it. I got a third and fourth interview all in the same week and I managed to get hired at the third and fourth airline at the same time.”
Crane relocated to Atlanta and worked in commercial aviation for a while before having his entire world turned upside down as a result of the September 11 attacks. Shortly after, he was furloughed from his position and came to the realization that the reserves were not going to be enough. He made the decision to reenlist. Crane went on to complete two combat flying tours in Iraq and eventually retired from the Marine Corps after an incredibly impressive 24 years.
The end of Crane’s military career was not something that he was going to let take him by surprise though. He created a plan and decided that the end of his active duty chapter was the perfect opportunity to take on his lifelong dream of being an entrepreneur. It was this journey that gave Crane exactly what he needed for his next step. He launched the Veteran On the Move podcast to serve as a guide for veterans during their own transitions into entrepreneurship. The podcast is as a “pathfinder to freedom” and features all of the programs, people and resources that Crane discovered on his own entrepreneurial journey.
Crane is now also serving another call of duty, City Leader for Bunker Lab’s newest chapter in Kansas City, KS. The chapter will open on November 19 and will remain committed to our mission of supporting every entrepreneur in the military connected community through networks, tools, and resources.