Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Walgreens committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Walgreens is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more.
Walgreens recently announced a pledge to hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years.
Stephen Johnson, an Army veteran and Walgreens regional vice president, says that hiring veterans doesn't just benefit former military families; it helps Walgreens too.
"Our customers are from all of America, and we want our employees to reflect that," he said. "We accept Tricare and have many military patrons near military bases, so why not hire veterans? We want to feed the future leadership of Walgreens so employees can work their way up the leadership chain."
Every great manager or director has to start somewhere: Joe McFarland, executive vice president at Lowe's, began as a sales associate in the light bulb aisle of Home Depot. But before that, he spent six years in the Marine Corps as an aviation mechanic. When he left the military in August 1993, he knew that his technical skills were not relevant: "No one was looking for someone to fire a .50-cal out of a door. My technical skills weren't as important as my people skills."
There’s something unique about Anton Lewis’ LinkedIn profile. Not only does he have an extensive range of experiences at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, but he also is very successful using corporate terms to describe his military experience. He mentions the size of teams he has led and the monetary value of contracts he was responsible for. When HirePurpose dug deeper, we learned that his Army experience was with the Air Defense Artillery Corps. He led a Stinger platoon and was an executive officer for a Patriot battery. He successfully leveraged that experience to become a regional sales director at GSK. We sat down with Anton to learn how he made that happen.
Transitioning from a military to a civilian career doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes military experience can align directly with civilian jobs. Service members, however, typically must find ways to translate their skills into something that makes sense for a civilian job.