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How to find defense positions in a certain location


Erin Pineda Brighton, MI

I am interested in transitioning to a career in the defense or intelligence fields to utilize my veteran experience, but my number one priority is to remain located in Southeast Michigan with my family. Do you have any tips for researching and applying for positions when you are trying to stay in a certain area (especially one that has not traditionally been a big hub for the defense industry like D.C., etc.)?

21 May 2020 4 replies Career Exploration



David Martin Dallas, TX

Hello Erin,

I checked Raytheon's employment site and we do have a location in Troy, Michigan; however, it didn't appear there were any open positions there. I noticed Textron has a location near that site, so its likely there are several Aerospace companies in the area. I would suggest researching the area and figuring out who the major Defense/Aerospace companies are in southeast Michigan.

As for the intelligence field, generally all your work is going to be a in a classified facility which often entails working in a specific geographic location. From my understanding most intel work is going to be near DC, with sporadic openings in places like Colorado, Hawaii, etc...

When looking for work in a specific location you are fairly constrained to whatever industries are prevalent in the area. I did a quick google search and this article seems like a good place to start looking for growing companies to join:

Most companies in the Detroit area are going to be heavy industry/automotive related. Some might have government contracts building Humvees, MRAPs, LMTVs, etc... which might be a good place to get your foot in the door. Navistar Defense has a location north of Detroit and I know they have government contracts for mine resistant vehicles.

Basically my advice is research the biggest/growing companies in your area that are in the field you are looking for and start applying on their website.

21 May 2020 Helpful answer


Shelley Appelbaum Elk Rapids, MI

Hello Erin and thank you for your service and best wishes as you prepare for your transition.
As a person who also lives in Michigan, remember to explore entities such as higher education environments, law enforcement and companies that are aligned with the federal government. With your experience and geographic preference, casting a wide net will be important as you pursue your next job and career. Think about your “transferable skills” and your accomplishments and package it with versatility so you can pivot as needed during your search process. Best of luck! Shelley


Mathew Ernst New Market, AL

Hello Erin, one trick is to look at some of the big companies Raytheon, LM, Boeing, Northrup and look at some of there primary locations. If they are in a town, most likely there will be over small to medium size companies. LinkedIn has become one of the top apps to find positions as recruiters are heavy using it to advertise open positions.


Lindsey Borg Woodbridge, VA

Hi, Erin. Take a look at the Raytheon Technologies website's careers page You'll be able to filter open positions based on their types and locations. I'm an Air Force veteran and find our company's culture to be close to the best things I enjoyed about active duty service.

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