Highly skilled, highly disciplined
and highly adaptive, veterans are
showing their mettle on IT staffs
nationwide. BY TRACY MAYOR
WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA challenged the private sector last year to hire 100,000 unemployed veterans by the end of 2013, he shared the stage with companies that have some of
the largest IT workforces in the United States — among
them Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Siemens, Honeywell, Ac-centure and Microsoft.
To address the disproportionately high rate of
unemployment ( 12.1%) among veterans, the federal
government now offers tax credits for companies that
hire unemployed post-9/11 veterans or their spouses. In
addition, the administration has established resources
to help businesses identify and hire returning service
people, and it provides vets with tools to translate their
military experience into business skills that are more
readily recognized by corporate America.
Given the IT-centric nature of many of the corporations that pledged to establish or expand their veteran-recruiting programs, it’s fair to ask: Do the high-tech
skills people learn in the military apply meaningfully to
The answer, according to veterans and the companies
that hire them, is an emphatic yes.
“The military is arguably one of the most high-tech
organizations in the world,” says Mike Brown, senior
director of talent acquisition at Siemens. “If you’re
working on a ship or a plane or tank, you’ve got responsibility for large, complex, extremely expensive equipment