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Life after the military: Veteran father and son leverage service training into small business

Timothy and Charles Lannan hope to inspire other veterans to use resources to start new career or business

A local father and son are using tactics they learned from the military to run a technology company.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – United States Coast Guard veteran Timothy Lannan and his son, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Charles Lannan, run a managed service provider company working closely with defense and commercial contracts.

Starting in the defense contracting world then migrating over to commercial MSP space, Lannan Technologies considers itself a “veteran-centric” staff.

Even though the Lannans are both retired from military service, they still incorporate some tactics learned from the military in their business.

One lesson they use is the “small unit” tactic.

“An example is you have a battle plan: you have a plan A, plan B, and an idea of a plan C,” explained Charles. “What you don’t know as effective is a plan L. You may not have the resources to make that decision on how to get to plan L but someone in your team does. To trust that member to make that decision to pivot and you believe in them because that’s in their area.”

What makes Lannan Technologies different from most MSP companies is having veterans know the business by knowing the lingo and what defense contractors are they’re looking for.

The Lannans said their staff has other qualifications they need to work with the military.

“A lot of our veterans are coming out of the service with clearance, a Department of Defense clearance,” explained Charles. “For us, it says, ‘I can trust you.’ It says you have gone through a rigorous investigation and your coming into this organization with that level of I trust you.”

Charles and Timothy being able to relate to the majority of their staff is what drew recently retired veteran Robert Spencer to the company.

“I’m in a community where everybody that I work with has at some point in time served in the military, so we just naturally mesh,” said Spencer.

The Lannans said they’ve seen a lot of support for their veteran status.

“The way we are hiring veterans is keeping what the military taught us and moving forward into this organization,” said Charles.

Charles Lannan said there are many resources that provide veterans instructions on how to start their small business, how to be impactful in their community and get defense contracts. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a “start a business” portal, and the U.S. Small Business Administration has an Office of Veterans Business Development. NerdWallet.com also has a Veteran’s Guide to Starting a Small Business, and VeteransFlorida.org offers entrepreneurship resources.