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My boss didn’t want to hire a veteran.
He dismissed the idea completely at first. He was shocked when I showed him the resumes of several veterans I knew.
“He doesn’t have experience!”
“He doesn’t have a degree!”
“How can any of these people possibly be of use to you?”
“Don’t you want someone who can actually help you get work done?”
My boss is a kind, quiet, devout Christian. That is to say, he certainly did not intend to offend me, but as a naturally risk-averse manager of a construction company, he simply could not see what I saw. A Naval Academy graduate, I served in the U.S. Navy from 2005 to 2010 as a nuclear surface warfare officer. I drove ships at first and then transitioned to the engine room of an aircraft carrier. The resumes I showed him were for enlisted, nuclear trained, mechanical engineers.
While the unemployment rate for veterans continues to decline, the stigma of perceived inexperience remains a barrier to employment. A report jointly published by Prudential and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America showed that more than 60% of the veterans polled thought translating their skill sets into civilian terms an obstacle in their job search. The leadership qualities, inherent maturity and loyalty of veteran hires have been well chronicled, but the sad reality is that a lot of incomprehensible words on a resume about deployments and duty stations are enough to deter a well-meaning hiring manager. And my boss, the regional manager of a successful, half-a-billion-dollar-a-year company.
My hire was impressive to everyone with whom he interviewed, but just not enough to get him past that experience threshold. I was able to extend a job offer only after explaining repeatedly to my colleagues that an enlisted nuclear mechanic actually had significantly more relatable experience than I did. Unless you’re hiring him to be a Navy lieutenant, I told my boss, he is far more qualified than I was for this job when you hired me.
If we want to get better at hiring veterans as a country, every successful company that wants to actually demonstrate patriotism should have an internal veteran-hiring advocate, someone who can read a resume and help to translate it for the civilian world. Ideally, that’s an existing veteran employee who can figure out if a potential hire’s experience relates enough to the industry to be successful. There are a growing number of training programs and hiring incentives that are both great steps in the right direction. But the only way a boss like mine will get the message is if it’s translated in just the right way.
I had to put a lot of effort into winning over hearts and minds, but I was finally able to hire a veteran. And not just any veteran but an enlisted sailor with whom I had worked, whose work ethic and drive had impressed me and who I felt fortunate to have found years later.
Until the role of veteran-hiring advocate actually exists, those of us in a position to do so have an obligation to be that advocate for our brothers and sisters. If you don’t speak up for them, who will?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Trump claims border wall is under construction 'right now' using fence repair footage from 5 months ago
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
Group of American vets detained in Haiti on weapons charges brought back to US, arrested upon landing
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.