Veteran sensitivity tips for employers on Veterans Day

Published 6:45 am Tuesday, November 10, 2020

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Approximately 200,000 service members transition from military service to civilian life each year. To help companies pay tribute to our military veterans this Veterans Day, DeVry University is releasing the “Got Your 6 Veteran Sensitivity Tips” from its Green Zone-Elite Training program, a program designed to help companies optimize their working relationship with military veterans.

“This Veterans Day, saying ‘thank you for your service’ is very well appreciated, but isn’t enough,” said Gregory Pace, National Director of Military and Veterans Affairs at DeVry University, former Marine Captain and Air Command and Control Officer. “There needs to be a deeper understanding of military personnel among employers around how they are trained to be precise, hardworking and dedicated so that employers don’t miss out on critical ways to harness the unique strengths and skillsets of their Veteran hires.”

The “Got Your Six Veteran Sensitivity Tips” from the Green Zone-Elite training program, are released at a time when the unemployment rate among veterans has more than doubled year over year to a historic 6.8% in September of 2020, compared to 3.1% in 2019.

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Ask about military experience. Encourage veterans to discuss their military service in the context of the job. Take the time to understand and respect the transferable skills veterans bring to the table by virtue of their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and leadership skills informed by their rank.Practice business etiquette. Veterans embrace structured environments and work best when meetings are on time, have a clear agenda and detailed objectives.Encourage questions. Due to their training, veterans may be reluctant to ask questions. Instead, ask questions to draw out their finely-honed problem-solving skills.Team up. Reinforce the team approach to tackle projects and develop stronger bonds among colleagues. Veterans crave esprit de corps, feeling of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by the members of a team.Use a retrospective lens. Military veterans are accustomed to “After Action Reviews” that evaluate successes and opportunities for improvement. Once a project/assignment is completed, host a reflection meeting to discuss the progress and outcomes.Tackle bias and stereotypes. Common misconceptions of veterans include assuming that veterans can only do military jobs, believing that veterans joined the military as a last resort and thinking that all veterans have PTSD or are disabled in some way. Often, none of these situations are true. If these misconceptions exist within an organization, it is pivotal to address them with proper education and training.”In the workforce, I quickly advanced with the project management and leadership skills I learned during my time in the Navy,” said DeVry University alum, Dan Fettig, a former enlisted sailor and current Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer and the T-TAURI Engagement & Capabilities Implementation Manager at Lockheed Martin Space. “As I navigated my career, I have found there’s an opportunity for employers and fellow team members to learn more about how the military trains veterans with transferrable skills and better understand how and why veterans operate the way we do.”

Complimentary Access to Green Zone Training

In honor of Veteran’s Day, DeVry University is offering employers complimentary access to its Green Zone-Elite training program through the month of November. The Green Zone training combines input from military veterans, DeVry University academic expertise, and a number of its Fortune 500 corporate education partners. It was developed in collaboration with Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary to assist supervisors, managers and HR professionals with veteran hiring and retention initiatives. The Green Zone training program is eligible for SHRM Professional Development Credits.

“As more veterans enter the workforce each year, and companies seek to advance their diversity, equity and inclusion commitments, building more military friendly cultures present an enormous opportunity,” said Pace. “Many companies have made recruiting employees with a military background a priority, but they may not have adequate training or methods to attract, acquire and retain this population. On this Veterans Day, we’re proud to offer the Green Zone-Elite training program to companies so they have better guidance on how they can better serve, understand and maximize the potential of their military and Veteran hires.”

For more information on the complimentary access to Green Zone, visit: