Starbucks reaffirms long-standing commitment to military community
(Photo: U.S. Army, Sgt. Cody Quinn, 28th Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

By J.G. Noll

During it’s 25th Annual Meeting of Shareholders on March 22, Starbucks announced growth and hiring plans impacting the military community. Having reached or exceeded their goals surrounding Military Family Stores and veteran and spouse hiring, the Seattle-based company outlined new goals.

In late 2016 and early 2017, Starbucks had been the target of an online firestorm when they announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide in response to multiple refugee crises, in particular they displacement of Syrians. Critics remarked that Starbucks should hire US veterans first; however, the company was already in the midst of a five-year hiring campaign for just that.

In 2013, Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. The goal was met earlier this year. As a response, the company has expanded it’s goal to 25,000 veteran and spouse hires by 2025. In addition, Starbucks is working with  No One Left Behind to help hire US military translators and their families who have immigrated to America.

During the meeting Starbucks also announced plans to “open 12,000 new stores globally and 3,400 new stores in the U.S.” by 2021 as well as the dedication of 100 more Military Family Stores in the next five years, adding to the original 32 open now. The stores are near military bases and are staffed by veterans and military spouses.

“These stores have become an important gathering place to reconnect veterans with their communities, support successful transitions and create career opportunities,” said John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy.

Starbucks offers other benefits for members of the military community. Employees also serving in the National Guard or Reserve are able to take advantage of Starbucks’ Military Service Pay and/or Military Allowance for those who are “called to active duty.” Starbucks employees connected to the military are invited to participate in the Starbucks Armed Forces Network. Some Starbucks franchises also participate in Military Mondays and Adopt A Unit. The company also works with Blue Star Families, Team RWB, Team Rubicon, The Mission Continues, and the USO, organizations that “help us bridge the civilian-military divide.”

J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at