How Employers Can Retain Veteran Employees


By Debbie Gregory.

Despite a push to increase jobs for military veterans, statistics reveal that almost half of all veterans leave their first post-military position within a year, and only 20-40% of veterans will see their second work anniversary.

It would be naive to conclude that these vets are leaving for better veteran jobs. Most of these first jobs are vacated due to a lack of familiar work culture, career development/advancement, meaning, or professional development opportunities.

What can veteran employers do to help retain their veteran employees?

The first step would be integrate new veteran employees into the workforce by overcoming language differences. Military terminology is quite a bit different from civilian terminology. Even the job descriptions may need to go through a skills translator. Veterans that aren’t familiar with corporate language may be perceived as less competent or cooperative, and may have trouble connecting with their superiors. A simple remedy is to educate managers, recruiters, and leaders about military culture and language. If the company already employs veterans, they should be called upon to help close the divide.

Preparing an orientation program for veteran students has shown great success at colleges and universities. Perhaps a similar program for new veteran employees would assist them in navigating the organization.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the rules in the military are often very different than in the corporate world, so clarity is key. Make sure the unwritten rules are as clear as the written ones.

Buddy up: giving veteran employees a connection with someone who is already well-established in the organization with a similar military background can give a new employee the insight and connection they need to succeed at your company.

Help your veteran employees understand their role within the company. Remember that those who have served are purpose, vision, mission, and value motivated.

Through small, meaningful actions, employers can get great results in retention by integrating veterans into corporate life.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Mil Vet Employees at Starbucks Respond to Call for Boycott

starbucks hiring

By Debbie Gregory.

President Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries prompted Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to announce that the company would hire 10,000 refugees in the 75 countries where it does business, with the effort starting in the United States.

The announcement prompted a backlash on social media with several people using the hashtag BoycottStarbucks to urge customers to stay away from its stores. Some users also posted screenshots of them deleting the company’s app on their phones.

But veterans who work at Starbucks have something to say to those insisting the coffee company should hire veterans instead of refugees: “Check your facts, Starbucks is already there.”

Members of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network wrote, “We respect honest debate and the freedom of expression. Many of us served to protect that very right. Some of our brothers and sisters died protecting it,” in its message. “But to those who would suggest Starbucks is not committed to hiring veterans, we are here to say: check your facts, Starbucks is already there.”

Starbucks Armed Forces Network was founded in 2007 to bring partners who served in the military together to bond over their shared experiences, to provide guidance for newly hired partners transitioning from military to civilian life and to create a veteran-friendly workforce.

In 2013, Starbucks made a pledge to hire 10,000 veterans and veteran spouses by 2018. The company has hired 8,800 U.S. veterans and military spouses already as part of its pledge, and said it would reach its veteran hiring target earlier than expected and would continue hiring more.

CEO Schultz and his wife, Sheri, have visited military bases, used their personal wealth to help with plans for service members coming back from active duty, established military family stores at more than 30 bases around the country and encouraged Starbucks senior leaders to visit military bases.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Civilian Hiring Managers Value Veteran Employees, but Struggle to Understand Military Culture

Veterans in the workplace

By Debbie Gregory.


A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program found that while civilian hiring managers have great respect for veterans and see them as valuable recruits, they struggle to understand the culture.

The study, conducted between 2015 and 2016, surveyed 400 human resource professionals nationwide, as well as 1,000 veterans who have transitioned out of the military in the last five years on their perceptions during the recruiting and onboarding processes.

Hiring managers actively look to hire veterans, see them as ideal employees, and value the contributions they make. Managers listed military experience as one of the top three recruiting priorities for their firms, with 77 percent calling their skills an important addition to the work force. Eighty percent ranked finding employees with higher education degrees that same level of importance.

With that said, they also express some concerns about hiring veterans. More than half of the hiring managers surveyed said they had little to no understanding of military rank and structure, making it difficult to match veterans’ experience with appropriate jobs.

The study, which included interviews with 400 hiring professionals and 1,000 veterans, found that business leaders have helped make their corporate culture more welcoming to transitioning troops in recent years.

The Merck Foundation funded the study.

The study also revealed that HR managers overwhelmingly see veterans as more disciplined, collaborative and hard-working than their civilian counterparts.

While less than 25 per cent of managers think their workplaces have negative biases against veterans, nearly half of the veterans surveyed said they have faced negative attitudes and treatment in civilian jobs.

Retention still seems to be an issue. Veterans who left a job within a year of being hired cited difficulty relating to colleagues and the company’s operations and culture.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Decisiveness, Tenacity & Initiative Make Veterans the Best Employees


By Debbie Gregory.

When it comes to the characteristics that make employees the most valuable, the list is pretty long. But there are a few extra boxes that are ticked by military veterans that help make them among the most valued employees.


Decisiveness is defined as being characterized by firmness and decision. Those who serve seldom have the luxury of long analysis when it comes to making a decision regarding a specific situation. They are trained to gather intel and understand it thoroughly. From the strength of a decision comes the ability to act. Being decisive is simply the most rational way to take on any problem. You observe the information you have available and then you decide what would be the most successful course of action. If you can’t get more data, decisive people simply make a decision based on the facts available.


Veterans know all about persistence and perseverance. Regardless of their branch of service, these former military members went through rigorous and demanding basic training (boot camp) in preparation for military service.


Initiative is defined as an individual’s action that begins a process, often done without direct managerial influence. Anyone who has served  in the military learns to follow orders. But through their training, they also learn that they may be faced with situations that requires them to take action in the absence of orders. If something needs to be done, they don’t have to wait to be told.

So if you are an employer and you’re thinking of hiring veterans, keep in mind that there is value in these potential employees that goes beyond the specialized skills they learned in the military. The very nature of being in the military has given them attributes unlike those that people can gain through any other type of employment.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Military Connection: Why Hire Veterans? By Debbie Gregory

Hiring vetsVeteran employees are among the most skilled, trainable and dedicated group of individuals in the workforce. Hiring Veterans can greatly contribute to turning our economy around. Therefore, it is vital that employers understand their Veteran employees and the potential Veteran employees have to elevate the success of the company they work for. When civilian hiring managers are given the tools to understand the Veteran workforce, they will be more likely to recruit these workers and leaders into their ranks.

Military Connection has compiled the following list of general facts about Veterans that can assist hiring managers and Veteran employers:

Many Veterans weren’t properly prepared for the transition– Millions of Veterans have left the military during the past decade. Often times, while still in uniform, Veterans were promised employment solely based on their service. It is only in the last couple of years that service branches have taught their separating members how to market themselves to civilian hiring managers. Most Veterans weren’t taught how to translate their vast military skills to a civilian employer.

Company values are important– Most employees, especially Veteran employees, want to work for a company with values and visions of a cause that is greater than profits. Veterans seek out companies that believe in teamwork, strong leadership and supporting the community. Veterans have been seasoned to support and promote the values of their organization. The “hoo-rah” attitude that Veterans used to fight wars could be utilized in supporting your company’s goals.

Veterans don’t want a handout– Veterans don’t want to be hired solely based on their Veteran status. Through extensive military training and benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Veterans have training, knowledge and experience to offer your company. The biggest obstacle that Veteran employment seekers have to overcome is hiring managers who do not recognize military service as employment experience.

Veterans are problem solvers– While serving, Veterans wore many hats and took on varied duties. Veterans received extensive experience in executing orders, improvising when necessary, and crisis management. Veterans also possess the leadership skill set in order to carry out necessary responsibilities and accomplish the company’s missions, such as inter-squad coordination, motivating subordinates, and team building.

Veterans continue to serve– Many Veteran employees may still be serving in the National Guard or Reserves. As a rule, the Veteran workforce is a patriotic and community conscious group. Many Veterans belong to service organizations and clubs, and want to make their communities better places for their families.

When a hiring manager is able to recognize the experience, skills and personality that a Veteran employee can bring to their company, then perhaps the Veteran unemployment rate will go down, and company success can sky-rocket.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: Why Hire Veterans?   By Debbie Gregory