2014 Invictus Games, September 10-14, London, United Kingdom

Ricky Derring: A Soldier's transition

By: Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and Transition

Sgt. 1st Class Ricky Derring (Retired) used his military experience to climb the ladder of success with pharmaceutical giant CVS. He's now reaching back and helping his fellow Soldiers achieve their dreams.
(Photo courtesy Ricky Derring)

Sgt. 1st Class Ricky Derring, (Ret.) manages his life like the strategic tactical plans he frequently reviewed.

“Similar to the military, you have to adapt, overcome, change your tactics and understand your environment. The biggest challenge has been adapting to civilian life, establishing a work-life balance and maintaining success at the same time. I have had great achievements and also a lot of lessons learned,” he said. After several deployments, Derring focused on those lessons while describing his military career as he neared retirement.

“It was a difficult time for me. I suffered from PTSD, I made a few bad decisions, I couldn’t sleep, I had nightmares, but the experience made me a better person,” Derring explained. “I needed to redirect that energy and focus. A successful transition is determined upon how a soldier processes combat, losses, setbacks and leaving the military. Instead of looking at leaving the military, retiring and starting over as a setback, soldiers should look at it as an opportunity”

While Derring healed at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg, he was establishing a plan for his life. He started taking business classes, interacting with business leaders and interviewing for several positions to gain entry into the business world. In just one short year, Derring took those lessons and focused his energy on climbing the ladder of success with CVS. He began his career with the pharmaceutical giant as a store manager, Derring quickly realized he wanted more and he worked to achieve it. Over the next few months, Derring will began training to become a District Manager.

“I am blessed and I know my future looks promising. Just like I did in the military, I approach my day with a checklist and try to ensure that I accomplish tasks that are important to my team and the performance of my business,” Derring explained. “Your team is everything. Being open to learning from people within my team is a plus, but also by engaging and inspiring my team to accomplish their goals and objectives has led to my own success.”

“Sgt. 1st Class retired Ricky Derring is continuing to excel after he transitioned from our Organization. I knew that once he reinvented himself for the civilian sector his leadership and commitment to excellence would shine through. Success personified. He has been the most rewarding transition that I have witnessed,” said Cedric Minor, warrior coordinator with the WTB at Fort Bragg. “He is not a pharmacist, he is a committed, success oriented, team building leader who has figured out how to embrace and interpret the capability of a Soldier and how it can translate anywhere.”

Similar to strategic tactical plans he once reviewed, Derring continues to reach out and help fellow soldiers. He often returns to the WTB at Fort Bragg to teach leadership and marketing skills.” “I made a promise to the WTB I would go back and help my fellow Soldiers. I tell Servicemen and women all the time that they have great leadership qualities that a lot of companies need their services and can be very successful in organizations if they approach the situation as an opportunity to grow and further develop themselves.”

Warrior Care Month 2016

WCM Events

Monday: November 14
  • Joint services Wheelchair Exhibition
Wednesday: November 16
  • Hiring Heroes Career Fair
Thursday: November 17
  • Joint Services Sitting Volleyball Tournament

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