Today, less than one percent of Americans answer the call to protect our national security, prosperity and way of life through military service. For those who volunteer to serve, there are no guarantees of employment when they leave the military.
Too often when veterans decide to transition back into civilian life, they encounter many difficulties trying to secure a future for themselves and their families.
The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 was 12.1 percent in 2011, and the jobless rate for all veterans was 8.3 percent. That’s just wrong.
At Lockheed Martin, we believe America’s veterans should not return from the front line to stand in the unemployment line … and we’re working to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Veterans comprise a major segment of our employees—almost one in four of our 123,000 employees are veterans—and they have a powerful influence on the culture and character of our company. Last year alone, we hired 3,352 veterans—38 percent of all our external hires— and 1,061 of them came to us directly as their military service ended.
We attended 270 hiring events for transitioning military and veterans and participated in more than 60 transition assistance programs at military bases across the country. Every month, we host a Wounded Warrior virtual chat to market their skills to our hiring managers and recruiters.
Why do all this to support veterans? It’s simple. Veterans are highly trained, disciplined workers who also happen to be great citizens.
They bring experience, leadership and rock-solid values to everything they do. They’ve been tested under pressure and proven their mettle time and time again. They have courage, integrity, honor and character.
And they understand service and sacrifice in the interests of others. All that makes them good for our company and good for our business and that’s why, in the last five years, we’ve hired 17,746 veterans, 4,714 of whom transitioned directly from military service.
America’s veterans want and deserve the opportunity to continue contributing to our society and providing for their families.
At Lockheed Martin, we believe it is our duty to give them that opportunity. There is no greater way to say “thanks” for their service and sacrifice, which enable all of us to live safe and secure lives, and pursue our dreams every day.