By: Jena McGregor
Yinon Weiss still remembers the time, eight years into his ten-year military career, that an official from the Army’s human resources team came and spoke with the officers in his unit.
In the acronym-filled parlance of the armed forces, the official spoke about KD positions, and Weiss walked out of the meeting scratching his head. “I thought that meant ‘known distance’ from a firing range,” he recalls. “Very few of us knew he was talking about a ‘key development’ position.” While mentors had pulled him aside informally at times, the talk marked the “first time anyone in the military gave me any kind of formal talking points or recommendation” about developing a career.
Five years later, Weiss is the CEO of a newly launched startup he hopes will help military members take a more active role in planning their military—and post-military—careers. RallyPoint, a social network for current service members that is formally launching on Monday, is a sort of LinkedIn for the military. It allows members to create individual profiles, connect with their military contacts and see, via RallyPoint’s graphical maps of the military’s organization, how their own connections might help them get a foot in the door to desirable positions around the armed services.
The online network, says Weiss, takes “your social graph and visually displays it across the military hierarchy.” Or as his business partner Aaron Kletzing puts it, shows “all your professional relationships within the military on top of the architecture of the Department of Defense.”