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Honoring Our Veterans This Veterans Day

By Karen Ross, CEO, Sharp Decisions

Veterans Day’s original distinction was as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I; 40 years later, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans of all wars.

This holiday has a particularly special meaning at Sharp Decisions because of the hard work put in by the incredible men and women of our V.E.T.S. Program, which have made it such a success over the past six-plus years.

When we created this program in 2013 to train and employ military veterans in a variety of technology roles, our intention was to tap into a new talent pool on behalf of our clients.

We invested in a rigorous training program, our senior leaders devoted countless hours to our military veterans, and we worked closely with clients to ensure that every delivery and every opportunity was a success. It was as much a labor of commitment to our veterans as a prudent strategy.

The veterans, however, were not the only ones learning from the program. In fact, the insights we gained from our first deployments reshaped the V.E.T.S. Program and, ultimately, how we operated as a company.

Our military has a reputation for excellence in nearly everything it does, but one of the most notable attributes is the ability to learn and adapt to circumstances quickly and efficiently.

Given the military’s focus on innovation, speed and change through analysis and learning, it stands to reason that many of the behaviors we learned from the V.E.T.S. Program have positively impacted our business. Equally, our private-sector entrepreneurial culture has remained, but it has also been enhanced by the veterans working on our team.

It has given our organization a renewed sense of mission working side-by-side with these individuals every day. As the program has grown and expanded past the initial offerings, the times have changed with it. Veteran unemployment is no longer the buzz phrase.

Now we fight for veteran UNDERemployment, something that has proven to be a real issue amongst our veteran population. This is something we’ve repeatedly touched on over the last couple years here and here.

This Veteran’s Day, and every day, let’s start considering veterans for roles we’d consider any civilian for. We need to provide them with opportunities for growth and upward mobility, as we would anyone else. It is incumbent upon us, the employers, to understand the value of a veteran and create job positions that all parties can benefit from.