What the Military Taught Me (and What Makes Vets Great Hires)
Why hire veterans?
Just read these testimonies of veterans from all ranks and branches about the most valuable lessons they learned from their military service. Then ask yourself, why not hire veterans?
Sergeant Camilla Gore Hull knew that joining United States Army would prepare her for a brighter future. “The military taught me to believe in myself, to constantly set goals, and to never become complacent,” Hull said.
James Castillo credits the U.S. Army for changing his future. The result? “It made me a better man,” he said. Over the years, Castillo rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) and oversaw his own platoon. “It gave me everything. I learned how to lead people.”
“My military career gave me so many directions I could’ve gone in: OSHA training, FEMA, lab work, HR work…that’s something I’m grateful for,” said Jeff Garner of his Air Force service. “Whether you serve four or 20 years, you develop the skills of being on time, having integrity and doing the right thing.”
September 11th was the impetus for Calvin Grier to serve his country as part of the United States Marine Corps. “The most valuable thing I learned during my time in the service attention to detail. With my MOS as an A-gunner, if you are off just a millimeter you put others’ lives in danger. I also learned the importance of being on time, patience, and organizational skills,” he said.
Jeffrey Lyons was a high school dropout looking to escape the gangs of Chicago when he joined the Army in 1991. When it came time to find a position in the civilian world, Lyons feels strongly that the team work, organizational skills, problem solving, and people management skills that he picked up in the Army have been invaluable. “Veterans are great team players,” he said. “They are disciplined and can be counted on in tough situations. They are also used to change and are willing to learn something new. That’s why they make great employees.”
Luzette Watkins believes the training provided in the military is universal, and gives all soldiers the same common ground. “I don’t need to know everyone in the military, because we all have the same foundation,” Watkins notes. “We all want to help, and we’re all customer-service oriented. Because of that, we’re career-driven. We don’t stop. The military also forces you to excel, and to look within yourself and develop other skills.”
What are the best skills the military teaches, according to Watkins? Leadership skills and the ability to execute a mission with limited instruction. “You must use your common sense and training. Especially in combat situations, there’s no time for questions or to repeat directions. You must grasp concepts right away,” she pointed out.
Perhaps Erin Connolly, a technical sergeant in the United States Air Force for 17 years, summed it up best: “Every veteran has time management, discipline, dedication, a mind open to different cultures, the ability to change with the mission, and resilience. What employer would not want that?”