Lt Gen Michael Ferriter: What millennial veterans can bring to your company

Millennial veterans are excellent team players and team builders. They will be decisive and tech-savvy. They will make your company better, beginning on their very first day.

As we mark Veterans Day, we are reminded of young servicemen and servicewomen who have served their entire military careers during a time of conflict who are now transitioning back to their communities, looking for what may be their first non-military job.

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The great news for employers is the majority of these millennial veterans possess three defining and highly marketable skills: an unparalleled understanding of technology, an adaptive, decisive personality and a value-driven work ethic.

Having grown up in the age of technical evolution, millennials by nature are technologically skilled, savvy and adaptive. Millennial veterans are even more poised than their non-military peers for successful technology-related careers precisely because of their unique training and experience using advanced computer and weapon systems.

Young veterans are also exceptionally nimble in ever-changing environments. Their actions must be adaptive and thorough, regardless of whether they are in the field or the office. One career that has benefitted from veteran employees, and would thrive with an influx of millennial veterans, is cybersecurity.

According to (ISC) 2 research conducted in 2018, 63 percent of organizations have a shortage of dedicated cybersecurity staff and 59 percent are at extreme or moderate risk due to cybersecurity staff shortage. This is a void that millennial veterans are more than capable of filling and are eager to step up to the plate for a chance to do so.

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Millennials also possess a keen sense of time and planning when it comes to difficult and divisive situations that require a quick decision or a creative solution. Veterans are especially adept at this, as they have proven to thrive in fast-paced environments that require immediate action in high-stake, sometimes life or death situations.

These individuals know how to handle a challenge and adjust when any last-minute or unexpected changes occur. In today’s fast-paced work environment, a decisive, clear and firm stance is a highly sought quality that millennial veterans can provide. 

These individuals know how to handle a challenge and adjust when any last-minute or unexpected changes occur. In today’s fast-paced work environment, a decisive, clear and firm stance is a highly sought quality that millennial veterans can provide.

I served with young officers responsible for the security of specific districts in Iraq who had enormous duties placed upon their shoulders. They had the responsibilities for the lives and welfare of the soldiers in their units.

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They worked with coalition partners and Iraqi Security Forces, mentored Iraqi district government officials, all while fighting an elusive and lethal enemy. This type of leadership requires immense mental and physical agility.

When seeking out a professional position, millennial veterans are value-driven. It is the quality of the work, the depth and capacity of the job that attracts them.

Signing a blank check on one’s own life by serving their country demonstrates unparalleled drive and passion. Millennial veterans care about the work they are doing. They care about the story a company tells and the narrative of the business.

As others have reported, millennials are focused on the quality of the company, the treatment of the customer and the careful execution of a job done right.

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If you choose to hire a millennial veteran, you are hiring compassion, forethought and intricate care. Businesses can rest assured that the selfless nature in which servicemen and servicewomen serve their neighbors, friends, family and community will directly translate into the level of care they contribute to their professional positions.

I often say of all veterans, and this includes millennial veterans, that they are men and women of integrity and character; who support each other, revel in building teams and are on a noble mission to help make things better.

Millennial veterans are excellent team players and team builders. They will be decisive and tech-savvy. They will make your company better, beginning on their very first day.

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It is a young veteran’s tenacity, selflessness and unparalleled dedication that allows them to transcend the standard expectations of civilian employers. These three defining characteristics merely scratch the surface of the skills servicemen and servicewomen possess.

I invite you to build on the promise of your business, create a community with your employees and your consumers and consider hiring one of our nation’s outstanding young veterans today.

Michael Ferriter is retired Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, and is President and CEO of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.