Combat-Tested Vets is Good Business

As we approach Veterans Day, hiring Veterans will once again become a topic of discussion  across the USA. Most large companies claim that they support hiring Vets…. but few have a strategic plan, and dedicated staff personnel to make that happen.

Hiring Veterans is smart on many levels.  First, our Vets, particularly our young Vets, are “combat tested.”  They are trainable, they take initiative and they are bright and well educated.  They have been in leadership positions in combat and understand the value of teamwork and unit integrity; and owing to their basic training, regardless of their service, they embrace leadership traits and principles that have been time tested and have brought them success on the battlefield. Moreover, these are traits they can directly apply to the challenges in the business community today.  They are men and women of high integrity who believe in doing the RIGHT THING for the right reasons.  They believe in Mission Focus and the welfare of their team.  Their skills and leadership have equated to honorable service, as a way of life, not simply a job.

Veterans have made a big difference across corporate America in both large and small companies.  With minimum transition training / education, and orientation, Vets have entered the civilian workforce as property managers, project managers, security consultants, logistics experts, executive coaches, operations officers, intelligence advisors, and administrators / executive secretaries.

Veterans bring with them a unique skill set; they are totally flexible, they adjust to changing situations.  They are innovative, and their loyalty and dedication are noteworthy.

Currently, there are hundreds of young Vets -- both men and women -- at every rank, who are leaving the service, and who are looking for meaningful work in the civilian community.  They are a SOLID WORK FORCE and are ready to rededicate themselves to a “Veteran Friendly Organization.”  Bottomline, our Vets are standing at the ready to take on a new challenge… to contribute to their communities and to the strength of our beloved country.   Moreover, Vets are TEAM PLAYERS who demand excellence but believe in the spirit of coaching and fair play.  Be the coach not the critic is the rule. 

Corporate America CAN and MUST DO BETTER regarding its efforts to hire Veterans.  Below are a few best practices /recommendations for consideration by Corporate America.

  • Corporate America must establish a sufficiently-staffed Veterans program inside their companies;

  • Be prepared to visit military bases across our country, and coordinate your efforts with Military Transition Officers, making appropriate field visits, etc.;

  • Establish a placement training program to ID skill levels and potential “best fits” within the corporate /business structure;

  • Offer an incentive program for qualified Vets who may be eligible for executive positions ASAP. 

  • In concert with DOD leadership, corporate CEOs should create a nationwide Vet hiring /transition program, supporting our Vets 6 months before their end of service.

Our Vets and their families have given much, have sacrificed greatly, all in support of a noble cause, the defense of our country.  As they transition from active / reserve service to civilian life, they deserve our support beyond a meaningful and thoughtful “thanks for your service.”  We who are in corporate America must endorse and participate in a Vet hiring program.  It is the right thing to do.  It will make a positive difference in our companies.  Indeed, our Vets will be a great asset to our organizations and will make us proud.