Founded by five former JMOs in 1991, Orion celebrates its silver anniversary this year. Two of our original founders, Bill Laughlin, and Randy Nelson, continue to serve on Orion’s Board of Directors today. The guiding principle of the five founders was, first and foremost, teamwork. The partners succeeded as a team due to their cooperation, sharing of ideas, and financial decisions, which benefited the group rather than the individual. The three foundations for the new venture were Clients, Candidates, and the Team. Twenty-five years after its inception, these principles and foundations have helped Orion find careers for more than 36,000 veterans.
Orion opened its doors on January 7, 1991, with headquarters in Raleigh, NC; and offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In its first year in business, Orion found careers for 95 transitioning Officers within 25 companies, including Target, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, DHL, ABB Power, Alcoa, GE Energy, and Ingersoll-Rand. Positions were primarily in Pharmaceutical Sales, Distribution, and Retail Management.
Orion’s very first placement was Jon Fulton, a USNA Graduate and five-year Navy Nuclear Officer. Fulton turned to Orion after a disappointing experience with another recruiting firm. Fulton says “After talking with my recruiter, Bill Laughlin, I felt like he knew who I was, what I was capable of doing, and had my best interests in mind as he sought to place me with the right position and company.” The company and position were certainly the right fit, as Fulton will celebrate his 25th anniversary with Alcoa in April of this year!
After three years in business, Orion became the first military recruiting firm to find careers for Enlisted Technicians and Non-Commissioned Officers. After seeing success in placing Officers, the team decided to try finding careers for NCOs, and tested the idea with several well-established clients. This proved very successful, and Orion is the undisputed leader in Enlisted Technician and NCO placement today.
In 2010, Orion again expanded our offerings to Veterans and demonstrated an industry-leading mindset by becoming the first Military Talent Firm to work with non-technical Combat Arms service members. Since then, Orion has matched nearly 2000 Combat Arms veterans with civilian careers. Orion’s 25th anniversary also marks the company’s fourth year of partnership with the White House Joining Forces Program. Highlights of this partnership include Orion alumni being asked to speak at Joining Forces events with First Lady Michelle Obama, media coverage, as well as multiple features on the White House blog.
In the last several years, Orion has pioneered several new offerings for clients. From our Military Talent Programs, to the Distinguished Candidate Conference, and Temp-to-Perm Staffing, we continue to demonstrate Innovation and Excellence at every turn by leveraging the far-reaching networks they’ve spent 25 years developing. Orion’s top clients today include industry leaders like Siemens, Whirlpool, SpaceX, Honda, Phillips 66, Honeywell, and Wrigley.
It seems fitting that Orion was named after one of the most prominent constellations in the sky. Twenty-five years after five former JMOs decided to make a difference in the military recruiting world, Orion has grown into the nation's leading Military Talent firm. As we celebrate this important anniversary, our mission at Orion holds steady:
To strengthen American Business with Best-in-Class Military Talent, through the relentless pursuit of excellence and unwavering commitment to our Nation's Military Professionals.
Learn more about Orion's services for companies interesting in hiring veterans here.