Standing Outside the Fire

Marcus Haney, AllegiantVETS

By: Marcus Haney, AllegiantVETS

I want to share a personal story about my journey growing up in a family deeply rooted in the security industry to finding my path as a Marine on the frontlines and now as the CEO of AllegiantVETS. This journey has been defined by a sense of duty, resilience, and the drive to carve out my destiny. It’s about not standing outside the fire but stepping into it and embracing challenges head-on. This Fourth of July, as we celebrate our nation’s independence, I’m reminded of why I never stand outside the fire.

Growing up, my father was building a thriving business in the security sector, and while many might assume I’d naturally step into his shoes, he had a different vision for my sister and I. He believed in the value of forging our own paths, insisting that we find our passion rather than joining his company. At the time, it felt like a daunting challenge, but it was the best lesson I could have received—one that prepared me for life’s ultimate “crucible.”

I was heavily involved in sports, particularly baseball and football. As an athlete, I had the honor of being part of baseball teams that won numerous championships. The experience of working together, pushing through adversity, and celebrating collective victories instilled in me a deep appreciation for teamwork and resilience.

The events of 9/11 were a pivotal moment for me. Like many others, I felt an undeniable call to serve my country. While attending Arizona State University, I quickly realized that a traditional academic route wasn’t fulfilling my need for action and purpose. I decided to join the Marines, specifically the infantry, which was a choice that took many by surprise. With my decision often came the question “Why not take a safer route?”, but my commitment to serving on the frontlines was unwavering. I knew I couldn’t stand outside the fire while others stepped in.

Life as a Marine on the frontlines was intense and transformative. The camaraderie, the challenges, and the profound sense of purpose were unparalleled. Of course, this journey was not without its hardships. I was wounded in Afghanistan, taking a 7.62 round to my right thigh. The experience tested me in unimaginable ways, pushing me to my physical and mental limits. But it also set the stage for my next mission: helping fellow veterans navigate their transitions back to civilian life.

Today, as the CEO of AllegiantVETS, I’m passionate about supporting and motivating transitioning service members. Our mission is to help them find their paths and purpose in the civilian world, translating the values and skills they developed in the military into new opportunities.

For corporations in the security industry, I encourage you to consider the unique qualities veterans bring to the table. Their discipline, leadership, and ability to perform under pressure are invaluable assets. Supporting their transition not only contributes to their success but also enhances the strength and resilience of your team.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to making a difference. This Fourth of July, let’s not stand outside the fire but continue to step into it, embracing the challenges and opportunities it brings.

Always by your side.

Marcus Haney is the CEO of AllegiantVETS and a battle-tested Marine turned visionary leader behind its’ cause, championing the transition of service members into trailblazing careers. His dynamic approach is shaped by resilience and a deep commitment to his fellow veterans and fuels their mission to empower and transform lives through unparalleled support and opportunities.


See more articles on: AllegiantVETS