What’s a Military Friendly® Company?
If you want to know the technical details about how Military Friendly® decides which organizations deserve the honor of being designated a Military Friendly® Company, see the methodology on their website.
But if you’re not interested in the details of how the data gleaned from an exhaustive survey is checked against government data, then pushed through a predetermined algorithm, or how an advisory council guides the development of the methodology, or how the results are audited by EY ( Ernst & Young) … no worries.
We asked the people who matter most—veterans working in corporate America—what it means to them to work for a Military Friendly® Company.
Let’s start with Josh Rosen’s definition. He’s the National Guardsman who runs the Military Friendly® ratings program.
“Military Friendly® Companies are the ultimate example of an organization that is committed to creating sustainable economic benefit to the military community and all of the important parts of that community: the employee, the spouse, the family, the consumer, and even the supply chain.”
We also asked veterans working at the 76 organizations that made the 2020 list of Military Friendly® Companies what it means to them. We started with several veterans who work for Verizon, which ranked as the No. 1 Military Friendly® Company for the third consecutive year (click here to view the story from 2018 and click here to view the story from 2019). Here’s what they had to say.
What Does Military Friendly® Mean to You?
“At Verizon we’re humbled to be named the No. 1 Military Friendly® Company for the third year in a row. This recognition re-affirms our commitment to military talent and their spouses, diverse suppliers, and the entire military and veteran community as they transition into the private workforce. Their military training and unparalleled work ethic continue to be a critical and inspiring part of our V Team.” — Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon, Foreign Military Service (Sweden)
“Working for a Military Friendly® Company really hits home for me. I can honestly say that I am grateful for the opportunity that Verizon has given me as a veteran and even more grateful to be with a company that is ranked No. 1 in hiring military veterans. I understand the dilemma many veterans face when transitioning from military to civilian life – it can be hard to figure out what’s next, but Verizon makes it easy. When I see the tremendous appreciation and recognition that Verizon shows for military veterans, it means a great deal to me and never goes unnoticed. Semper Fi! OORAH!” — Jeffrey Picado, Solutions Specialist, Verizon, Marine Corps, 2007-2013
“It means my military leadership and skill sets are valued and it makes me happy when a civilian company sees my worth outside of the military. I also have the comfort of knowing that there are other service members working within the company because this helps keep the military camaraderie going. Leaving the military can be challenging, but having others who understand you and your service is a great help, especially on the hard days. Civilian life and military life are two separate worlds and it is wonderful when they work together.” — Barbara “Barbie” Richardson, Local Manager, Operations (Verizon Consumer Group), Verizon, Air Force, 1999-2019
“I’m very proud to work for a No. 1 Military Friendly® Company. As an active member of the U.S. Army Reserve, it’s critical that my company understands and celebrates the value of military service and volunteerism. Verizon Media provides the policies, flexibility and vital support of managers to ensure those serving in the Reserve and National Guard can continue to do so while succeeding in their civilian career. Verizon Media also enthusiastically supports an outstanding Employee Resource Group for veterans and military advocates that works to assist veteran hiring initiatives, raise awareness of military service, establish partnerships with military support organizations, and build a meaningful community and culture within the company.” — Daniel Denn, Creative Optimization Strategy, Consumer Media Marketing (Verizon Media), Verizon, Army, 2008-2018
“It means working for a company that has the same values and standards you held dear while in uniform. It means you will have a bond with those you work with the day you walk in the door. There is camaraderie, appreciation, respect and there are people who will want you to succeed.” — Krista Page, VP of Strategic Sourcing, Verizon, Army, 1995-2000
“It’s an honor to work for a company that’s so fully committed to serving members of the military, veterans and their families. We support them through reliable networks and solutions, special programs and exclusive offers, volunteer events, and partnerships with military organizations. We also proudly employ more than 10,000 U.S. military veterans because we value the outstanding skills, discipline and experience they bring to our team. Verizon does this to show our gratitude for their service to our country, and because it makes our company better. I’m privileged to lead Verizon’s Public Sector business, which enables government agencies to achieve their critical missions every day. I also had the opportunity to serve as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve. I am inspired by the continued work our Verizon team does to connect service members with opportunities and I look forward to more great things that will exceed the standard of what it means to be No. 1 Military Friendly® Company in the future.” — Andres Irlando, SVP & President Public Sector and Verizon Connect, Verizon, Navy Reserve, 1999-2007
“Working for a Military Friendly® Company such as Progressive means the opportunity to work in an environment with wonderful people that honor and respect the service and sacrifices of those that served. The appreciation is often overwhelming. Additionally, Progressive’s culture is very similar to the Corps/military in the sense our company focuses on teamwork, taking care of its employees while maintaining a focus on serving our customers with pride.Very similar to the military that believes in teamwork, taking care of its service members while serving our country with pride.” — Andrew White, Supervisor, Progressive Insurance, Marine Corps, 1985-1997
“Working at TVA is a continuation of service to my country. As an employee of TVA, I am able to bring my military skills, leadership, along with a sense of duty, pride and honor as I help serve the 10 million people of the Tennessee Valley!” — Kevin “Rudy” Rudnitzki, Machinist, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Air Force, 1989-1998
“It means I’m with the right type of company in order to achieve my career goals. It makes me proud to be a part of an organization that is committed to providing meaningful opportunities to veterans.” — Tom England, Market Sales Manager, Cintas, Marine Corps, 2001-2013
“It’s important to me to have meaningful work that helps people. Being a veteran, I love working at PenFed because of our commitment to supporting the military community, which allows me to stay connected and give back every day through my job of empowering military employment or through philanthropic opportunities.” — Charlie Miles, Director, Military Employment Programs, PenFed Credit Union, Marine Corps, 1992-2012
“It wasn’t until I joined Comcast that I really understood what the company’s commitment to the military community really meant. Along with the 15 additional days of PTO I have for military obligations, I have received a tremendous amount of support from my leadership team. They’ve provided me with the flexibility and understanding to effectively serve in my military capacity as a Marine Corps Reservist, which in turn has increased my commitment to and passion for this company and everything we do for our customers.” — Vineet Mehta, Director, Information Governance, Comcast, Marine Corps/Marine Corps Reserve, 2000-Present
“It means our company highly values the freedoms all citizens enjoy, and especially the freedom to participate in a capitalist economy.One way to honor veterans is to welcome and hire them so that they too may enjoy the fruits of our nation for which they sacrificed to keep free.” — Dino Perone, AVP/GM, Sales, AT&T, Army, 1991-1997
“It is a ‘win-win’ situation. Working for La Quinta by Wyndham allows me to capitalize on the leadership skills developed while in the military as well as provide the company with a disciplined professional who possesses integrity. It is great knowing that you are respected and rewarded for your particular skill set. Also, if you are committed and demonstrate that you are value-added, it opens doors for upward mobility.” — Timothy (Tim) Lowe, General Manager, La Quinta by Wyndham, La Quinta Inn & Suites Greenville-Haywood, Army, 1990-2019
“Working for a Military Friendly® Company means that I’m not only encouraged to bring my leadership skills, initiative and experience but I’m celebrated and respected. It’s great knowing that there are companies that understand the uncertainty that comes with transitioning out of the military and are here to help.” — Albert Hernandez, Branch Manager, United Rentals, Marine Corps, 2005-2009
“A company that sees the value of utilizing trained professionals in a business world. A community with an active support system to re-hone their skills and soften the ‘rough edges’ of transitioning from boots to suits. Overall, a family that shoots for the comradery every soldier misses from time served.” — Austin Boswell, Claims Onboarding Coach, Progressive Insurance, Army, 2010-2014
“Working for a Military Friendly® Company means they believe in inclusion and recognition. It means that you’ve found a place that shows veterans and military members ‘Thank you for your service’ in a meaningful way. It means the skills you’ve sharpened in service are refined and appreciated on the job.” — Haywood Gordon, Director, Account Management and Sales, World Education, LLC , Army, 199-2000, Army Reserve, 2000-Present
“Working for a Military Friendly® Company means that I will be afforded the opportunity to grow at an organization that truly understands the direct benefit of translating and leveraging my prior military experience to influence operational, team and business success. Military Friendly® Companies are committed to increasing diversity and inclusivity.” — Daniel Hughes, Diversity and Veteran Strategist, Randstad, South Dakota Army National Guard, 1999-2001, Army, 2001-2007
“When asked this question, two words immediately come to mind: privileged and honored. The leadership skills developed in the military are abundant in DynCorp International, and exhibited in our numerous veteran employees. It’s an honor and privilege to serve with them. This company is truly dedicated to supporting our military.” — Rhonda Dodson, Property Director, DynCorp International, Army, 1984-2004
“Companies that make hiring veterans a priority demonstrate their understanding of the value military trained professionals bring to the workplace. I prefer working for a company that values the disciplined employee, and realizes the assets they bring to the company and continues to assist and grow veterans in their career paths.” — David Hoskins, Director of Facilities Management, Motel 6, Army, 1994-2000
“Home. Family. Duty. These three words describe the environment at First Command. I am honored to belong to an organization where I feel at home with family. My passion of being a soldier inspires me to coach those who serve in their pursuit of financial security.” — Dan Gonzalez, Associate Director, Advisor Operational Initiatives, First Command Financial Services, Inc., Army, 2004-2016
“Military Friendly® means a company that understands the military culture and the life of the military community. It means that they honor their employee veterans and respect the unique experience and skills of veterans. They find value in my military background and seek it out.” — Alice Garcia, Business Strategy & Planning Director, USAA, Army, 2004-2010
“I am very proud to work for [a Military Friendly® Company] that embraces hiring veterans and military spouses. It’s impressive how Southwest provides services – like the Military Ambassador Program, of which I’m a member – to serve as a resource for veterans and their families.” — Drew Jennings, Manager Maintenance, Technical Operations, Southwest Airlines, Navy, 1989-1996
“I have the unique experience of being a veteran and being able to hire veterans. Knowing I am backed and supported by a company whose mission is to provide and support those who have served and others in our communities that need a hand up reminds me every day of why I enlisted in the military and continue to serve.” — Gerard Ball, Human Resource Recruiter, Haywood Vocational Opportunities, Army, 1996-2004
“Working for a Military Friendly® Company is amazing for me because they understood the background I came from and allowed me to use those leadership skills to progress within the company. La Quinta by Wyndham allowing me to do a fellowship with them prior to leaving the military was huge in me being able to transition successfully to the civilian world.” — Carlos Harrison, General Manager, La Quinta by Wyndham, La Quinta Inn & Suites Denver-Louisville/Boulder, Army, 1992-2018
“What working for a Military Friendly® Company means to me is that my organization takes a proactive role in hiring, mentoring, educating, promoting and recognizing our veteran community. That community extends beyond our ranks of our employees and also applies to veterans support organizations as well as support for active duty personnel and their families. It also means that my organization enables an environment of camaraderie and networking through company sponsored resource groups, allowing those resource groups to work autonomously in an effort to achieve their goals yet with the support, guidance and encouragement of its highest levels of executive leadership here at AT&T.” — Ruben Valverde, AT&T, Associate Director, RF Infrastructure, Marine Corps, 1993-1999
For the full list of 2020 Military Friendly® Companies, visit MilitaryFriendly.com.
Check out this story and much more for FREE in the digital March 2020 issue of G.I. Jobs magazine!