When servicemembers become wounded, ill, or injured, they often face a change in their career trajectory. While approximately 50% return to their Military careers, many separate from service and begin a new career in the civilian workforce. These Veterans are well-trained, highly-skilled professionals who can strengthen any organization, increasing diversity and the bottom line. There is no standard definition of a “Wounded Warrior”— today’s Military personnel experience a wide range of injuries, from amputations and burns to TBI and PTSD. What is most important is that these injuries do not prevent them from contributing to society, but often make them more resilient, determined, and ready to serve.
Reasons to Hire Wounded, Ill, Injured Soldiers &Veterans
By hiring a Wounded Warrior, employers are not just giving back to someone who has sacrificed for our country, they are gaining a talented, trained professional with a strong background in leadership, technology, and resilience. There are a number of different sources that promote the benefits of hiring a wounded Veteran. These lists often include a number of soft skills employers value, such as the ability to learn new skills, strong leadership qualities, flexibility to work in teams or independently, and respect for procedures and accountability.
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University provided research context to support these often touted, but difficult to translate, “reasons to hire.” The value of a Veteran, as described in The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran: Beyond the Clichés in a competitive business environment includes that Veterans:
- Are entrepreneurial
- Assume high levels of trust
- Are adept at transferring skills across contexts/tasks
- Have advanced technical training
- Can adapt to discontinuous environments
- Exhibit high levels of resilience
- Exhibit advanced team-building skills
- Exhibit strong organizational commitment
- Leverage cross-cultural experiences
- Have experience in diverse work-settings