Army Captain Brendan Mullen went from deployment in Iraq to starting his own successful business. The Central Texas veteran is now helping other veterans make the transition from the military world back to the civilian one.
Mullen started his cyber security company MKS2 Technologies almost 10 years ago. The company helps the VA protect its data from hackers.
Just recently Mullen's company was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the top veteran owned business in the country. He received the Vet50 award at an event in Austin.
"That was an evening of celebration of all the hustle and hard work. But there's no real spiking of the ball...There's never a company that arrives. Wwe still have a ton of work to do and a ton to learn," Mullen says.
Mullen is looking to expand as well. MKS2 currently has 52 employees, or teammates as Mullen calls them in 26 states. He says he has plans to add as many as 25 new teammates.
That's good news for other veterans with a tech background because nearly 25 percent of his employees are veterans. When asked why so many are veterans, Mullen says it's because veterans get things done.
"There's a "can do" attitude where they can stare at a challenge and there's no way they're not going to get the job done. Whether they go around it, over it, through it, they'll get something done with perseverance, duty, honor...all the values ingrained in us from the U.S. military," Mullen says.
Those values worked for Mullen while he was in Iraq and they worked for him when his company after he got out of the service.
That was Mullen's path and while he had certain skills and tech knowledge, his advice for other transitioning vets is similar to his own method.
"Take a moment and it's against the grain of who we are as service members and be selfish for a change," Mullen says. "Figure out what you really want to do and from that moment find mentors and use them as your kitchen cabinet for business or education questions...or I'm going off in a wrong space can you help get me back on the right roadmap."