At Activus Connect, we are proud to highlight the members of our team who serve and support the military, sharing some of their impactful life experiences. In today’s blog, Dawn Nash, our Director of Recruiting and Enculturation, shares her multi-generational story.
Early Years and Military Upbringing
Dawn was born into a military household, so high standards of performance and commitment were always part of her family’s values, carrying through several generations.
“Once your family adopts the military lifestyle, they live it for the rest of their lives,” she said. “My parents always had very high standards across the board, so if you were assigned a task, whatever it was, they expected you to be on time, tidy, and ready to complete everything properly. I think that’s a big contributor to what made my parents so successful in life.”
Dawn’s parents met in the military. Her father was a warrant officer for the military police, and her mother was ranked specialist E5, achieving soldier of the year within just 18 months. After four months of dating, Dawn’s parents married in 1971, when the military allowed newlyweds to leave and start a family, which Dawn’s mother chose to do.
Her dad stayed in the military for seven years. Due to the political climate at the time and the current job market, her father decided to leave the military to be present for Dawn’s upbringing. As many soldiers do, both parents completed their secondary educations while transitioning into civilian life as a young family. Her dad tapped into his military experience to transition into public service, ultimately becoming a District Attorney investigator.
Generational Military Lifestyles
After graduating from high school, Dawn married her first husband shortly before he joined the Marine Corps. While her husband was serving, they had two kids and raised their family while traveling around the world together.
Dawn’s eldest daughter also married a gentleman who joined the military. The couple is raising three children at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which provides higher education and training for Army cadets to become commissioned officers.
According to Dawn, life on the base is about adapting quickly and adopting a “rotating chosen family.” Since the cadets at West Point are students, and the staff is constantly rotating, as fast as you get to know someone and accept them into your chosen family circle, they graduate or transfer to the next stage of their lives. This lifestyle means that kids on the base learn to adapt to change and lessons in acceptance and inclusion at a very early age.
“The month of the military child is important to me because it brings these lifestyle differences to light,” she said. “It also represents our family’s legacy, so I hope that my grandkids will carry on the tradition of participating in a military lifestyle.”
Giving Military Spouses Valuable Careers at Activus
Dawn is one of few people in her family who didn’t serve in the military due to severe asthma. She wanted to join the Air Force but couldn’t because of her condition. Still, she got to experience the military vicariously through her family experiences and living as a military wife.
“I appreciated our military lifestyle, but as a working spouse, you feel quite pigeonholed because most people don’t understand your experience,” she said. “Among those who didn’t work on military bases, there were a lot of assumptions that off base employment was rigid and even unsafe. Over a decade ago, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) was created to help overcome these concerns.”
When the MSEP chooses an employer as a trusted partner, they are hyper-vigilant about ensuring they share the same values and understand the unique challenges of those supporting our active soldiers. For example, it’s common for unexpected deployments to occur suddenly, so partners of MSEP must be flexible enough to accept these scenarios and support employees during these events.
Activus Connect can adapt with location, immediate time off, scheduling, employee assistance programs, medical services, and a lot of moral support, understanding, and compassion for the needs of military partners. We’re ready and willing to help anybody with these issues, but we actively seek out military spouses when we recruit, knowing that we have the tools and flexibility to help them.
“My time as a military spouse has made me passionate about helping Activus Connect become certified as an MSEP company,” said Dawn. “People serve in the military to protect people in the United States, and that mindset is what I carry through to my work at Activus — I feel like we’re doing everything we can to protect our people and support the people we serve.”
Here at Activus Connect, we pride ourselves on our ability to support military spouses and military families, providing flexibility and understanding that few businesses can, thanks to our 100% remote employment model. Contact us to learn more about our available careers for military spouses.