Veteran’s Day is barely a holiday in the US, except as a retail sales gimmick. But why should we expect this to be different?
Fewer than 2% of us have ever served in the military. And since we moved to an all-volunteer service, those who do serve come from a smaller slice of the population. So fewer of us are related to a vet or know one well.
Our veterans are a terrific resource for your business and our nation. You may think we in the military all served in an environment of senior people ordering junior ones around all day, with no judgement or discretion involved.
But that is a movie version of boot camp, not the reality of military service.
Military folks are used to working in teams of people who are quite diverse in comparison to the statistically typical civilian workplace. Persistence, adaptability, teamwork, and flexibility are not just buzzwords, they are daily reality in the military. We are trained to get the job done, to “take that hill”.
This is one reason that veterans who become entrepreneurs succeed at twice the rate of civilians. And it makes them great employees for helping grow your business too.
My story: It was a base in a war zone with constant high level civilian and military visitors. I was asked to set up a protocol function. Working with the motor pool, the housing staff, communications, and air traffic control, we put together an operation that met and transported and housed everyone from civilians to generals to Bob Hope to Senators with no fuss. The commanders were thrilled that they did not have to figure this out each time, yet no added monies were spent. The junior folks were thrilled that the old ‘emergencies’ of visitors stopped. And our visitors were even complimentary.
Every military person can tell you a litany of such minor stories. These stories offer you insight into how much we can do on our own and working in teams with people we just met to achieve goals that support a larger goal. And your business can use all those skills right now.
Reach out to veterans and you could find your perfect employee.
You may not really understand the work that a specific vet did in the military. And not all of them are good at articulating their expertise in specific areas – or all the training they have had. But veterans bring many specific technical skills and talents to your business as well as all those soft skill areas employers lament are not available.
Locally and at the VA state employment agency there are veterans’ representatives who can educate you and help you hire. There are tax incentives for you to hire veterans, training programs to help vets acquire skills you need, and support services to hire disabled vets. You might even end up on the state’s list of military-friendly employers!
So, this Veterans Day
Raise a flag.
Go to a military parade or veterans memorial.
More importantly: recognize we are just like you – only with some different experiences than a standard business career offers. Think of what we can do to help you succeed!