Telecom operators earlier this month unveiled plans to hire tens of thousands of veterans as part of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative. The initiative, launched in 2011, by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of vice president Joe Biden, aims to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the year 2021.
“On land and in the air, under the sea and out in space, America has the most technologically advanced armed forces in history,” wrote the pair in an op-ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
“Military researchers and inventors have pioneered technological innovations, including the Internet and GPS, that have transformed modern life. Today, more than 150,000 men and women in the U.S. military are working in tech jobs—like the developers who create the software for fighter jets and the network engineers who protect our country from cyber attacks.”
Carriers across the industry have set high target numbers to help reach the initiative’s goal. Sprint recently pledged to hire 2,500 veterans, T-Mobile has said it plans to hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and AT&T has planned to double its hiring commitment to 20,000 military veterans, reported RCR Wireless.
The opinion piece in the Journal noted that veterans have learned to work and be successful in their mission under tough circumstances. “Whether they were establishing wireless networks in Baghdad, repairing communications equipment in the mountains of Afghanistan, or maintaining data-storage units on 100,000-ton aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, these military personnel have often done their jobs in conditions that most people can’t even begin to imagine.
“Given this experience, chances are that these men and women can handle whatever comes their way in an office building in Silicon Valley. And when they decide to hang up that uniform and make the transition to civilian life, any company that decides to hire or train them will surely benefit from what they have to offer,” the team said.
SVP of human resources at Sprint, Sandy Price, told RCR Wireless the qualities in veterans that make them such reliable and valuable workers. “Veterans have valuable and unique skills which strengthen our workforce. It is important that we provide rewarding professional opportunities, and a support work environment, for veterans and their spouses and partners,” Price told RCR Wireless.