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BP veterans help others transition to civilian jobs

Release date:
8 November 2019
Highlighting its commitment to supporting veterans, BP is partnering with a nonprofit group that provides mentors to service members transitioning from the military to the private sector.
David Duke

David Duke

BP employee David Duke, a U.S. Navy veteran, recently participated in that program when he mentored Michael Martin, who was transitioning out of the Navy into the private sector.



“BP has a partnership with American Corporate Partners,” Duke said. “They match up a mentor with someone like Mike, to help him prepare to leave the service and provide some resources about finding a job.”


Duke, who served aboard nuclear submarines, was a natural match for Martin, who also was serving as an officer on submarines.


“He wanted to move to Houston, and I helped him navigate and figure out what kind of job he was looking for,” Duke said. 


Duke, a regulatory compliance and environment engineer in BP’s Global Wells Organization, helped Martin with his resume.


“Sometimes a veteran’s resume is full of military jargon and acronyms that don’t translate to private industry,” he said.

Mike Martin

Michael Martin

The mentee

Martin, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was serving as a submarine officer when he decided he wanted to transition out of the military and move back to the Houston area, where he was originally from.



I contacted American Corporate Partners and wanted to find a mentor to help navigate the transition out of the Navy — hopefully someone from Houston who was also a submarine officer,” Martin said. “It was a perfect scenario when they matched me with David.”


Martin said he wanted to use his background in engineering to find a job in the oil and gas industry.

“My mentor helped me translate my engineering experience on a submarine to something that would make sense to an employer,” he said.

After receiving some coaching in interview techniques and going through several interviews, Martin accepted a role with an energy company in Houston.

“David’s help was invaluable to me in finding the perfect position,” Martin said.


Military experience and transitioning

Duke said that many skills a person learns in the military can translate to the private sector.

“Time is compressed in the Navy,” he said. “You have so much responsibility, and it is multi-disciplined with experience in electrical, chemical, leadership and emergency response. Those skills are transferable to civilian life.”

Duke said companies like BP understand the skills that a veteran brings to the office, and they can be valuable assets.


“I really enjoy doing this because it gives me the opportunity to help someone,” he said. “I wish when I was transitioning to a civilian job there had been a program like this.”

Founded in 2008, American Corporate Partners aims to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce. ACP is the only nonprofit organization engaged in national corporate career counseling for returning veterans and active duty military spouses.