Logistics Blog | Total Distribution, Inc. in Jacksonville, FL

What makes for a successful company? Hiring military veterans may be the answer. From Lisa Rosser's standpoint, the colors of a company's success often are red, white and blue. U.S. military veterans characteristically have the credentials, work ethic and skills – along with other tangible and intangible qualities – that employers need, says Rosser.

Hire a Vet for a Successful Business

Rosser's Herndon, Va.-based business provides personnel services for companies wanting to recruit and retain military veterans. She served 10 years in the U.S. Army and 12 years in the Army Reserve. "Companies should view hiring veterans not as the charitable thing to do or as a risk to manage," Rosser says, "but as an opportunity to infuse these skills, traits and attributes into their workforce mix." The result typically is "a stronger, more productive and innovative company," she said.

Hire a Vet: Hiring Military Veterans is Good for Business

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the Grimes Companies is no stranger to hiring vets. Grimes employs no less than 13 military veterans in its workforce. The owner and founder of The Grimes Companies, Tommy Grimes, is a former Air Force Commissioned Officer. Grimes President Neil Porter served in the U.S. Army and was even stationed in Vietnam. Porter completed college at Georgia Tech with G.I. Bill benefits after his service. "Neil's parents were both Marines and it shows. He is the most regimented person I've ever known," says Dusty Locke, TGG's director of operations. "One of his strengths was being consistent in his approach to everything."

Hiring Vets: Good for Business

Indeed, putting veterans to work — particularly in logistics related fields — is good business, says retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Vic Guillory, Jacksonville's Military Affairs and Veterans Department director. "Veterans recognize that teamwork was a big part of their service, they are very mission focused, they are very reliable, (and) they know how to work with diverse workforces," says Guillory, who was the United States' Fourth Fleet commander before retiring in 2011.

Transitioning military personnel and veterans "bring the types of attributes that are immediately attractive to their company," Guillory said. "Not only do companies benefit from a cultural standpoint with (veterans') discipline and punctuality, but also from the skill sets they represent," Guillory said. "Veterans have sophisticated logistics knowledge, they understand how to apply technology to logistics, and they know how to deliver what's needed under difficult scenarios."

Hire Veterans: Vets Make Good Employees

What else makes a veteran a good employee? Veterans also are uniquely accomplished at completing tasks, says Rosser, adding that many employers often are surprised to learn that most military jobs have a direct or close civilian equivalent. Also, due to working in extraordinary environments such as war zones and humanitarian missions, unanticipated challenges don't tend to hinder veterans, she said.

"This focus on mission accomplishment generates innovation and creativity, and changes the mindset from ‘it can't be done' to ‘how can it be done?'" Rosser said. "They also have a sense of urgency that is difficult to teach in the classroom."

Adding that veterans also tend to be companies' emerging leaders, Guillory lauds the Grimes Companies for recognizing the value of hiring veterans to work in the workplace. "Grimes is setting the bar for other companies by putting the best of the best to work for them," he said.

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