May is Military Appreciation Month and an opportunity to recognize those who have given a portion of their lives to defend our freedoms.
You have likely heard about the rigors our military and veterans face, including moral injury from the travesty of war or service in difficult times. In addition, some military service members and veterans face economic or social challenges adjusting to civilian life. At times, the unemployment rate for veterans who served after 9/11 has been almost twice that of non-veterans who are about the same age.
Overall, there is a lack of data and research to assess deployment’s economic, social and health impacts on military service members and their families, making it difficult to know their needs.
On the positive side, these military members and veterans are often exceptionally well-trained in leadership, and they understand discipline and live up to commitments even when they are tough. They are also well versed in diversity, equity and inclusion because, while in service, people are assigned to different stations and duties based on the needs of the military. This “random draw” concept creates a uniquely blended model of personnel that includes numerous facets of DE&I.
Here are three reasons why you should consider hiring a veteran in your organization:
- Military veterans understand the importance of working together and building teams. People are placed in varying roles in the military at different locations nearly every day, and they learn the importance of supporting the team and often work diligently.
- Military veterans recognize the operations of an organization. From the time they enlist or take the oath of office, they become engrained with organization development, the nuances of a unit, the chain of command and respect.
- Military veterans comprehend discipline, which means they report on time, stay until the job is done and do great work.
PRSA understands that our military and veterans have distinctive needs and knows they can bring a wealth of talent to our profession. Here are a few of the engagement options for members of the military and veterans:
- A special Moving Veterans Forward initiative offers veterans with public affairs skills transitioning from the military to a civilian role or a military spouse to get them on the road to finding a job and giving them a free year of PRSA membership while they transition. You can learn more about this program online here.
- A Military and Veterans Community where those interested in joining can create an open dialogue for engagement to engage can do so. You can find this community online within the MyPRSA member section through this link.
We are building this community through the PRSA Military and Veterans Task Force. Our efforts include professional development webinars, group membership discounts, supporting the APR+M and sharing Silver Anvil Case studies with military officers at the Defense Information School. You can find us online under My PRSA Community, Military, and Veterans.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in joining this community, then you can do so once you sign in to your My PRSA community under the heading of Military and Veterans Community.
We look forward to engaging with our military and veterans who are PR practitioners, and we thank you for your support of our nation’s military service members and veterans.
Paula L. Pedene, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a former U.S. Navy broadcast journalist, retired VA Public Affairs Officer, and owner of Paula Pedene and Associates. She is Chair of the PRSA Military and Veterans Task Force.
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