One aspect that I loved about my conversation with Dan is how his story exemplifies a middle road for Veterans. Often, I interview Veterans who take a wildly different career path after their military experience. I also interview many Veterans who take a career path that is directly related to their military experience. Dan found a way to split the difference. His career path utilized one piece of his military experience, while also allowing him to branch into an entirely different industry. We talk about how we made the switch from submarines into the clean energy space. We talk about the rapid growth occurring in this industry, and why mission-oriented Veterans might love this field. Dan also served during the time of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and shares his experience of coming out to his wardroom. This aspect of my conversation helped me build empathy and understanding for someone who had the exact same military career path that I did, yet was impacted by a policy in a way that I never had to experience.
For listeners who enjoy this episode, check out these three episodes, which I’ll link to in our show notes at Beyond the Uniform;
While these three interviews are not about clean technology, they each share a commonality of covering industries that are new and rapidly growing. They are all also relatively new fields. This means that there aren’t a lot of people who have decades of experience in these fields, so a military Veteran who is a newcomer to the space doesn’t have as much ground to catch up on.
Dan Misch is the Federal Project Director with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and the Founder of the Veterans Advanced Energy Summit. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served on Submarines for five years, including three nuclear deterrent patrols. He is a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council and Energy Expert Group.