Ramiro Villalobos, a distinguished Air Force Special Warfare Airman, dedicated over 20 years of his life to the US military. Throughout his service, he played a pivotal role as a Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) member, interfacing seamlessly between air and ground forces to orchestrate close air support during missions.
His unique position required him to synchronize a myriad of assets, ranging from space force components to army elements. Ramiro articulated, “As a TACP, you possess the power to reshape the battlefield merely with a radio, relaying intricate situations from air to space."
“I’d been doing it my entire career!”
Despite the innate project management nature of his military responsibilities, Ramiro identified the parallels only after retirement and subsequent training at the Centre of Project Innovation.
“It struck me during my training that my two decades in service were steeped in project management; I simply lacked the formal framework and terminology," he reflected, expressing a wish to have recognized it earlier. “I wish I would have had the structure to actually put words and thoughts into place.”
Now, as a Certified Project Trainer, Ramiro channels his newfound insight to guide other veterans. He fervently believes in the transformative power of project management training, not just for active military personnel but also for those transitioning into civilian roles. “It's all about adjusting vocabulary, mannerisms, and understanding the civilian culture," Ramiro observes.
“This training, it’s helping people understand, ‘Hey, I already have the structure, I just need to apply the different vocabulary associated with speaking to the private sector and articulating that I’ve already done this. You give me the overall effect of what you want to accomplish, I’ll come up with a method because that’s what I normally had to do’.”
He emphasizes that such training equips individuals with enhanced communication and systematic reporting skills, pivoting them from instinctive judgments to data-driven decisions. “You can articulate a lot better when you have facts and metrics versus feelings and emotions,” Ramiro said.
The Virtues of Veterans
Underlining the Value of Veterans, Ramiro extols the intrinsic virtues they bring to the table: unmatched work ethics, punctuality, accountability, and an unparalleled sense of responsibility. Their inherent nature to keep stakeholders updated and a natural inclination towards resourcefulness sets them apart. “There’s things that we naturally do that have been ingrained into us,” Ramiro remarks. “Reporting, keeping our bosses informed, keeping everybody aware of what’s going on, giving them a status brief. We already do that in our day to day interactions with people.”
“The other thing is just knowing how to be resourceful, think out of the box and actually make things happen versus waiting for their manager.”
“Military veterans don't just sit on problems; they proactively seek solutions, even if it means engaging with top executives or pinpointing the right person to address an issue,” he said.
Ramiro Villalobos embodies the bridge between disciplined military service and structured project management, underscoring the often-underestimated skills and values veterans bring into the civilian workspace.