Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CNN OpEd Discusses Why Veterans Make Great Employees

In his recent OpEd on CNN.com titled “Why military veterans make great employees”, Rye Barcott, a former Marine Corps Officer, explores how the current employment rate for veterans, which is higher than the national average, is counterintuitive when considering veterans’ vast skills. He discusses this topic in the context of the recent Los Angeles area military job fair attended by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on July 10.

Barcott points out the irony of the fact that while the military “equips most men and women with skills that translate well into private, public and nonprofit sector careers”, veterans are among the most unemployed. He explains that the military is an empowering place and illustrates this by describing what he calls the "strategic corporal." Strategic corporals are the lowest-ranking noncommissioned officers and are generally in their early 20s, yet they are often in positions of heavy leadership in command of small teams. These corporals have been equipped by the Marine Corps to make quick decisions in high-stakes situations. Because of this, Barcott points out that employers should realize that veterans are often far more effective in stressful situations than their civilian counterparts.

The question is begged, then, why the high unemployment rate? Barcott posits that it is because less than 1% of the population serves, and, therefore, few hiring managers truly understand a veteran’s value to their company. And while hiring veterans does have a goodwill aspect to it for the hiring company, Barcott reminds us that “hiring veterans is not a matter of charity. For those organizations looking to excel in the world, it is pure, enlightened self-interest.” In addition to building teams and getting results, service members have been called “force multipliers” by Colin Powell, and what better employee to have than one that brings these skills to your company.

Click here to read the OpEd.

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