As a CareerSource Polk business services consultant, I worked with central Florida employers to post and fill open jobs. Most employers wanted to interview and hire veterans. These employers understood hiring veterans makes social and economic sense. Veterans have dedicated years of their life to defending this great nation and many of those skills learned in the military, are transferrable to the civilian work place.
Enlisted veterans live by the following oath:
“I(name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Officers live by the following oath:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
I raised my right hand and recited the enlisted oath in March 1994 when I joined the United States Marine Corps. My time in the Marine Corps has come to an end but the values instilled in me never go away. Below are just four examples of skills that transfer from the military to the work force.
Every branch of the military has their definition of leadership. The Marine Corps identifies 14 leadership traits. They include: Justice, Judgment, Dependability, Integrity, Decisiveness, Tact, Initiative, Endurance, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, and Enthusiasm. Marines use the acronym “J.J. Did Tie Buckle” to learn the 14 leadership traits. You’d think that’s enough to define leadership but the Marine Corps takes it a step further by defining 11 leadership principles. They include:
- Be technically and tactically proficient
- Know yourself and seek self-improvement
- Know your Marines and look out for their welfare
- Keep your Marines informed
- Set the example
- Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
- Train your Marines as a team
- Make sound and timely decisions
- Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates
- Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities
- Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions
Imagine if leaders in your organization employed Marine Corps leadership traits and principles.
To be a good leader you must first learn to follow. Veterans know how to take instructions from management and complete assigned tasks.
The military is the ultimate melting pot. Veterans work in units or teams with people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions. Rich, poor, white, black, Hispanic, northerners, southerners, small town people, city people, male, female – in the military, everyone is a shade of green. This helps veterans entering civilian employment to quickly integrate themselves into new or existing work teams.
Response to High-Pressure Situations
From the first day of basic training, veterans are trained to function effectively in high pressure environments. The pressure and strain of running my own business or completing my education pales in comparison to a group of Marine Corps drill instructors ripping into a platoon of recruits. Veterans can work through stress and complete the mission.
Veterans spend their military career doing more with less. A veteran can’t go to his commander with a list of excuses for not completing the mission. They are taught failure is not an option and the mission comes first. Veterans have the strength and determination to overcome challenges and obstacles. Marines have a mantra: Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome!
When it comes to hiring veterans, there are multiple
resources at the small business owner’s disposal.
The 2013 Post-9/11 Veterans’ Unemployment Rate in Florida was 6.0 percent and nationally it was 9.0 percent. Florida is outperforming the nation in putting veterans to work but there is still room for improvement. Employers can contact their local CareerSource office for help accessing job-ready veterans in their community. Let veterans help your company boost its bottom line.
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, enacted November 21, 2011, provides an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans, and for the first time, also makes the credit available to certain tax-exempt organizations. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. The amount of credit depends on a number of factors, including the length of the veteran’s unemployment before hire, hours a veteran works, and the amount of first-year wages paid. Employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum credit. For more information about the tax incentives please visit the IRS website.
Military Skills Translator
Veterans receive MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) training that many times transfers to civilian occupations. Use the MOS Skills Translator to connect military training to the civilian workplace.
Florida SBDC at USF
While in the military, veterans develop a vision and set strategic goals, both essential skills for owning your own small business. While veterans may have all the discipline necessary for such a venture, having a certified business consultant to assist along the way can be an additional asset.
The expert consultants at the Florida SBDC at USF can assist veterans with:
- Becoming a certified, veteran-owned business
- Government contracting
- Growth acceleration services
- International trade
- Marketing strategies
- Capital access for veterans
All of these services are available through no-cost, confidential consulting. Many Florida SBDC Network consultants are also veterans and have their own military background to draw from.
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