Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates started the ‘joint convening’ of The Muster and the Veteran Jobs Mission in Washington, D.C., on April 14, saying, ‘One of my priorities is that veterans not just have a job, but they have choices.’
The meeting was led by Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase, and the Schultz Family Foundation. More than 300 non-profit, public, and private representatives attended it.
Note that The Muster is a Starbucks initiative focusing on making the transition process for veterans more feasible. JPMorgan Chase’s Veteran Jobs Mission has worked hard to bring around 225 member companies together to hire more than 314,000 veterans since 2011.
Odierno became JPMorgan’s senior adviser in 2015. He is of the view that veterans are quick learners and they need support from a company.
‘We need the long-term civilian expertise within a company mentoring and helping veterans,’ he added.
On the other hand, Gates, on the Starbucks board of directors, said that civilians and vets must work harder to get to know each other. However, he added that it will only work ‘when the CEO clarifies to people that it’s a priority for the company.’
Senior Vice President of Global Responsibility, Community, and Public Policy at Starbucks, John Kelly, added that one of the primary reasons for the joint convening was to reduce the gap between military personnel and civilians.
‘For years and years, civilians go by those military gates, and they don’t know what’s behind them,’ he added.
According to Kelly, the event has fostered new partnerships and opportunities for networking. He added that the event’s goal is to ensure people stay connected.
Similarly, the Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for JPMorgan Chase said that the leaders of the meetings will focus on the opportunities and challenges for the future once they receive detailed feedback on the event.
It should be noted that JPMorgan Chase commissioned a study with the Center for a New American Security to find companies with veteran retention. Based on the information received, future strategies for veterans will be developed. The study also works on veterans’ economic value to understand their contributions in the workplace thoroughly.
Senior fellow and counsel at the Center for a New American Security, Phillip Carter, said the target is to publish the study results on Veterans Day. ‘The best thing you can give a transitioning veteran is a spouse with a job,’ said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families.