Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Hire Heroes USA


My road in life has been direct.
I grew up in a religious cult; at the age of 17, I had an epiphany, realized I had to make a change.
I left home and entered military school on a full Navy ROTC scholarship.
9/11 occurred during my junior year; I switched to the Marines and became an Infantry Officer.
In Iraq, I had two incidences where I lost Marines during high-intensity combat situations.
Being unable to prevent those violent deaths changed my perspective on my place in the world.
I had PTS due to my 2 tours in Iraq; staying physically active & seeing a counselor helped me heal.
After my service ended, I was able to use my G.I. Bill benefits to pursue a master's degree.
I love my current job because I get to give back to vets who haven't had the opportunities I've had.
Keep following my journey


High School
Greely High School
International/Global Studies
Virginia Military Institute
Public Administration
University of Georgia


Chief Operating Officer

I'm a service-oriented individual who likes to make people and things better.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Armed Services
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

A good work day consists of solving problems and making things better in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of life for our team. I make daily phone calls to our funding and employment partners, and take meetings with directors and executives, all the while trying to answer the questions: "How can we improve our organization? How can we deliver services more effectively to our veterans? How can we grow and offer these services to more people?"

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You need a knowledge of history and politics and a sense of your place in the world. I'm a big proponent of getting a liberal arts education to help you develop those soft skills, or people skills.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

The most important first step for anyone is knowing yourself; recognize your weaknesses and your strengths, then play to those individual strengths. For me, one of my strengths has always been problem-solving and analysis. I identified these strengths while I was in the military, and they've made me the perfect fit for the job I currently hold. Transitioning veterans often try to fit themselves into the job they feel like they should be doing, rather than doing something they excel in and enjoy.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

International/Global Studies
Public Administration


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You're going to fail. You're not as good as everyone else."