Derrick Dancy, Retired Navy, Franchise Owner
Derrick Dancy served in the United States Navy for 20 years. He served in Iraq and Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. After retiring from the military in 2010, he moved from San Diego to Tucson, where he opened a Signal 88 Security franchise. To Dancy, it was the opportunity to continue to protect that made Signal 88 so appealing. But he was not just easing from one career to the next. While opening the Tucson office, Dancy began studying at the University of Phoenix where, five years later, he graduated with a degree in management.
Signal 88 Security not only offered a business opportunity for Dancy, but also a sense of community. Most – if not all – Signal 88 franchisees have members in their organization who have military experience. Dancy tends to give an extra look to Veteran applicant because he knows they bring efficiency and experience to the job.
Currently, Dancy has four Veterans on staff. When it comes to transitioning from the military to the civilian world, Dancy knows that Veterans will be
ready. “I suggest that (the Veteran) thoroughly research whatever they are going to pursue in civilian life,” he said. “Everything will work out if the preparation and ambition is there.” Military experience is definitely a plus when it comes to Dancy’s line of work. “I fell back on my military training, which was very helpful when trying to get into the security-based business,” he said. “The training and knowledge I gained in the military helped immensely when it came to the operational side of things. Depending on the rank of a departing member of the military – typically E-7 or above – he or she is fully equipped to own a franchise like Signal 88.
“A lot of the Signal 88 Security units are owned by Veterans and law enforcement personnel,” Dancy said. “They work on the same scale – in the military, your job is to protect and serve on a global spectrum, while law enforcement works on a more local level. Both entities do the same thing to reach the same result of taking care of people. I’ve found that transitioning military service members have the ambition and ability to succeed at my organization just like they did in the military.”
Another benefit for former military working for Signal 88? “If a service member comes in as an employee, it’s likely that placement will be at least assistant manager. Veterans have the ability to do ground-level security work, but they have the skill to work in an executive role, gain upward mobility,
and even start own their own franchise. Aside from the applicable work the franchise sets them up with, Signal 88 Security offers Veterans a community of people with similar values and a familiar work atmosphere” Dancy explained.
As for those leaving the military, Dancy encourages them to think big. “Don’t limit yourself to working a 9-5 job,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to take on the challenge of working toward a goal of opening your own business. Don’t sell yourself short.