Myths About Veterans and Why You are Not Hiring Them

VETERANS U NEED THEM

Let me start by saying our country has made great strides lately on the veteran hiring front. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for December 2014, veteran unemployment was at 4.7% slightly up from November. The highest unemployment veteran rate for 2014 was among first-termers in the 18-24 year range with their average unemployment rate being at 16.2%, so there is still much work to do.

Statistics aside, veterans are still plagued with many misconceptions that hinder the hiring process. Here are some of the myths that are impacting the overall veteran unemployment rate.

file0001292130605Veterans want jobs.

Veterans generally do not want “jobs”, they want careers.  Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” Our military members have dedicated themselves to the profession of arms. As they transition from military service, they are looking for meaningful work and a minimum wage low skilled job is not going to cut it. Veterans want to make a difference in the world and will stay with an organization that will give them the opportunity to learn and grow.

file7071266529091Veterans are uneducated.

Today’s Armed Forces are the most educated and technologically advanced military the world has ever seen. The days of enlisting criminals or dropouts are long gone.

The Department of Defense has set strict quality caps on who can serve in the military which has led to a 99% high school graduation rate, far exceeding that of the general population. Furthermore, veterans are 70% more likely to complete a college degree than their peers.

Veterans are not free thinkers, they just follow orders.

Some aspects of military life are well regulated, such as how long one’s hair can be, and they do occasionally march in straight lines, but the fact is, military members are trained to think on their feet and can operate effectively in the most chaotic of situations. Additionally, our Armed Forces work around the world with a social and cultural understanding of their environment that most can only imagine.

Veterans only know how to yell at people to get things done.

Forget what you learned from Hollywood. Yes, military leaders have a very important and dangerous job to do with life or death consequences, but the fact is, military leaders learn and master the art of transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership motivates the team to achieve a common goal by developing subordinates, showing genuine concern for the team, challenging people to achieve past expectations, and taking ownership for one’s actions. This is done through teaching, coaching, mentoring, and counseling, not regular yelling. Today’ military leaders lead through motivation, not fear and intimidation.

fighter_pilotVeterans do not have applicable civilian skills.

First, less than 20% of military specialties are considered direct combat roles such as the infantry, armor, or artillery. The other 80% are in fields that have a direct correlation to the civilian job market such as medical, finance, food service, human resources, mechanical maintenance, etc. The focus here should be less on what a veteran’s job in the military was, but more on the intangibles such as team-work, loyalty, leadership, and great work-ethic. A company can train skills, but you can’t train dedication.

All veterans have Post Traumatic Stress.

Let’s put this in perspective and put all the hype aside. According to the National Institutes of Health, 26% of Americans over the age of 18, about 1 in 4, have some form of mental disorder. So, if your company has 100 employees and none of them were veterans, 25 will have some form of mental illness to include possible PTS.

PTS is an affliction that not only affects veterans, but could impact anyone who faced a traumatic life event such as an auto accident or becoming a victim of a crime. Additionally, it is estimated that only 20% of veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have symptoms of PTS.

Veterans are poor and joined the military because it was their only option.

Believe it or not, the military sits firmly in the middle-class of America. The percentage of military personnel recruited from areas with the lowest of incomes is only about 7% of total enlistments. The highest percentage of military enlistments come from median household incomes nationwide.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI should not hire current members of the Guard and Reserve, they are just going to deploy.

A veteran who continues to serve their country in the Guard or Reserve should not be viewed as a liability. Yes, the possibility of a deployment is there. Yes, they are required to serve a minimum of one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year, but the knowledge, skills, and abilities that individual will bring to your organization are immeasurable. Hiring current National Guard and Reserve members is not only a good practice it is the law!

FMI TENANTS LOGOThe best way to “support our troops” is to ensure they have gainful employment after their dedicated term of service. It’s time we all look past the hype, myths, and misconceptions and make hiring veterans and top priority.   Let Forward March show you how to get the most out of military talent with our comprehensive HR training program and military talent pipeline services.

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services

Want to be a Military Friendly Company?

For the most part we see “military/veteran friendly” employers as being employers who give the perception that they have a veteran hiring strategy which they actively employ. Sadly, as we have highlighted in previous posts, many employers prefer to use their veteran/military friendly strategy more for marketing than actually hiring veterans or concerning themselves with giving veterans real careers. It is refreshing to find companies who are actively engaging veterans through a veteran hiring strategy. Those companies, no matter their size, we see as moving American industry forward and truly honoring our national treasure… our nation’s veterans.

For larger companies who want to set the bar even higher there are ratings institutions such as Military Friendly who use survey-driven methods to determine just how effective a company’s veteran hiring strategy is.
2015_MFE_LogoMilitary Friendly is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business founded by veterans and leads the industry as a ratings entity for companies who hire veterans. They produce survey-driven lists each year and have been doing so for more than a decade. These lists highlight schools and employers who represent the “top tier of institutions with leading opportunities for military service members and spouses.”

The 2015 Military Friendly Employers list has been released. The pool of about 5,000 employers produces less than 5% which earn the designation of Military Friendly within the context of Military Friendly’s rating process.

GI.Jobs.Logo.LR

The top 100 employers, according to Military Friendly are published in their GI Jobs publication. Becoming one of these employers is a highly coveted achievement, which requires a tremendous amount of effort and dedication to veterans by the companies on this list. The list for 2015 includes companies such as Union Pacific, AT&T, CSC, Intel, Merck, CDW, J.B. Hunt, BNSF Railway, Brinks, HP, Deloitte and many others. You can see the list here…
For a more detailed list of Military Friendly employers you can go here… 

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Forward March Inc. is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business founded by veterans who have a passion for helping veterans. Forward March Inc. is dedicated to moving American Industry forward by helping employers develop successful military hiring strategies. If your company or institution does not have a veteran hiring strategy we can help! If your company or institution wants a proven plan to become a company that is known for hiring veterans like those highlighted in the links above, then give us a call. Forward March Inc. has over 30 years of collective experience connecting employers and veterans. Come over to our website here… and learn more.

35 years experience

Military Hiring 101 Workshops

MILITARY HIRING 101 WORKSHOP

Our Military Hiring 101 Workshops will give you the information and tools you need to succeed in hiring the very best military candidates. Our highly successful solutions are based on the proven military leadership models and a systematic approach to organizational growth.

We now offer the opportunity to come and conduct our Military Hiring 101 events at your company! 

Another way that FMI can help you with your Military Talent Acquisition & Transition goals is with our Military Talent Hiring Guide which we can customize to fit your solution for your company or organization. This Hiring Guide can help you through each step of your hiring process to find the right veteran talent for your mission.

Mil Hiring Guide Ring
Bringing the Value of a Veteran to Your Workforce

Today’s businesses recognize the value of having veteran employees in their workforce. Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining veterans is a skill that companies looking for the highest caliber employees simply must have. FMI has created a Military Talent Hiring Guide that teaches companies the basics of just how to do this. Contact FMI today to get your copy of our Military Talent Hiring Guide.

• Learn how to find and attract military talent to your business
• Discover the methods and benefits to hiring veterans
• Learn how to approach all branches of military service
• Learn how to translate rank, pay-scale, and military job skills

Contact us today for information on how to schedule an event at your company or to learn more about our Military Talent Hiring Guide. 1-888-723-6223

Military Hiring 101 Workshops and Our Custom Military Hiring Guide

Forward March Inc. (FMI) works with companies and organizations in a variety of different ways to help with military talent acquisition. FMI has two services which businesses can use to help with finding, attracting, hiring and retaining top quality military talent. Even if your company or organization has no previous experience working with veteran talent FMI can have you up and running to meet your mission needs very quickly.



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One way companies can get a military talent pipeline started is to attend one of our Military Hiring 101 Workshops.

Military Hiring 101 Workshops

MILITARY HIRING 101 WORKSHOP

Our Military Hiring 101 Event will give you the information and tools you need to succeed in hiring the very best military candidates. Our highly successful solutions are based on the proven military leadership models and a systematic approach to organizational growth.

Agenda:
• Introduction
• Attracting Military
• Hiring Military
• Retaining Military
• Practical Exercise
• Closing Remarks

35 years experience

We now offer the opportunity to come and conduct our Military Hiring 101 events at your company! 

Another way that FMI can help you with your Military Talent Acquisition & Transition goals is with our Military Talent Hiring Guide which we can customize to fit your solution for your company or organization. This Hiring Guide can help you through each step of your hiring process to find the right veteran talent for your mission.

Mil Hiring Guide Ring
Bringing the Value of a Veteran to Your Workforce

Today’s businesses recognize the value of having veteran employees in their workforce. Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining veterans is a skill that companies looking for the highest caliber employees simply must have. FMI has created a Military Talent Hiring Guide that teaches companies the basics of just how to do this. Contact FMI today to get your copy of our Military Talent Hiring Guide.

• Learn how to find and attract military talent to your business
• Discover the methods and benefits to hiring veterans
• Learn how to approach all branches of military service
• Learn how to translate rank, pay-scale, and military job skills

Contact us today for information on how to schedule an event at your company or to learn more about our Military Talent Hiring Guide. 1-888-723-6223

Resume and Interview Tips and Suggestions for Veterans and Transitioning Military (part 3 of 3)

Sometimes we run across articles that have really good advice for veterans and transitioning military personnel with regards to employment. This morning as I perused the “hot sheets” for articles on veteran employment and transition I came across this little gem over at the Seattle PI website. This article titled “2015: Underemployment the New Employment for Many Veterans – Part 1a” echoes a lot of what we have been writing here on the Forward March Inc. blog page. However there are some golden nuggets that can help you out so we strongly suggest taking a minute or two and checking it out.

Forward March Inc. has posted some new positions on our website and more are coming in January! Make sure to check them out here…


We thought, with all these new positions coming on line in the next 30 days, we would post a three part series we released earlier in the year to help veterans and transitioning military in the areas of resumes, interviewing, social media and a more.This information is actually really helpful to anyone from any background when they are going through the job searching process so feel free to share it with anyone you know may be benefitted by the info in these articles.

Part III – Resume and Interview Tips and Suggestions

Resume and Interview Tips and Suggestions

Below are suggestions to use in your resume writing and also for your interviews. 

Leadership and management skills – Leadership and management skills acquired during your military service are to be highlighted. Highlight when you had leadership and management experience, training, or when you had leadership and management on a project/mission/task. Leadership and management does not necessarily have to translate to the job you are interviewing for, when they do not highlight them as a capability to manage people/materials/resources. 

Practice good communication skills – Your physical and verbal communication should be open, friendly, and confident. Try to physically relax and make eye contact with the person you are interviewing with. Avoid crossing arms, putting hands on hips or in pockets, or slouching when talking or listening to a potential employer. Make sure in your speech you keep your communication professional, short, and positive. Never talk about situations, people, or events in a negative manner. Try to keep the conversation positive. Never complain about previous employers, coworkers, assignments, duties, or situations. Avoid unnecessary details when relating your job experience. Keep your political and sociological ideologies out of the interview process.


8401272827_6a3fe41250_b Highlight your military skill and projects while being brief and describing things as much as possible in terms any civilian can easily understand. Avoid acronyms that are military knowledge specific.

Quantify work experience and achievements – Specifically what did you do, what problems/challenges did you overcome, problem solving tools, etc. For instance highlight the state of a project before you brought the solution to bear and then highlight how you improved the state.

Highlight goals and achievements – Depending on the interview style and time given for the interview, it is incumbent upon you to highlight briefly and succinctly your achievements, goals achieved, recognition and awards for achievements, etc. Make sure you highlight the necessity of teamwork, as often as is applicable so that an employer sees that you know that mission success is more about the team than the individual. This lets employers know that you are going to be a team player and not a lone wolf. Keep your examples to about two. Again, pay attention to the interviewer and take their lead, if they seem to want more information or more examples/details/etc then supply those.

References – In an interview these may or may not be asked for. Frequently when time is short interviewers will not ask for references. Make sure that your relevant and impressive references are highlighted before the end of your interview. Be brief, but make sure that the interviewer is aware of your references.

Highlight volunteer/intern/freelance work – Any volunteer work or freelance work done in the field you are looking at applying for should be listed on your resume and highlighted in your interview.

Clearances – When applying for positions which you think you may need a security clearance for make sure you note on your resume if you have a CURRENT security clearance and what level it is.

Photo Credit - Bokeh Breath by Rick Camacho

Photo Credit – Bokeh Breath by Rick Camacho

Lastly but most importantly – Relax, be yourself. People generally appreciate a person that is true to who they are.

~ Article by Tobin Pilotte, Directer of Marketing and Technology for Forward March Inc. 

Resume Writing and Social Networking Tips for Veteran Job Seekers

Forward March Inc. has posted some new positions on our website and more are coming in January! Make sure to check them out here…

We thought, with all these new positions coming on line in the next 30 days, we would post a three part series we released earlier in the year to help veterans and transitioning military in the areas of resumes, interviewing, social media and a more.This information is actually really helpful to anyone from any background when they are going through the job searching process so feel free to share it with anyone you know may be benefitted by the info in these articles.

tips for resumes and interviews

Part two of three in our continuing series on veteran and transitioning military employment preparation.

Most people have social media pages. No matter how private you “think” your social media page is remember this… it’s not! Potential employers regularly review social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. This is common practice and is NOT a practice just reserved for potential employees who will need background checks.

If your social media page(s) contain images, videos, music, or speech that causes employers to think you are not a good candidate it can prevent you from getting an interview or landing the job. Many employees have found that their social media has been the reason for their termination.

Here are some rules that will keep you from having issues with your social media:

  • Remove any images, videos, or other content that contains vulgarity.
  • Remove images or other content that contains sexual content.
  • Remove content that contains alcohol or drug use.
  • Remove images containing violence, graphic images of war/violence/gore/etc

Its pretty easy, though possibly time consuming, to clean up a social media site with the above guidelines. However, its much harder to clean up your comments on posts you or others in your network or in the public have posted. It may be advisable to close your social media account(s) weeks or even a month before you begin sending out your resume and networking.

Some brutally honest advice you may not want to hear – Sometimes it’s better to close down your social media page than to try to clean it up. You will have to assess the difficulty and time invested in cleaning up a page vs. shutting it down and starting a new page at a later date. Should you decide to close down your social media page you have to remember that it takes time. Facebook, for instance, can take weeks to close your page down.

LinkedIn profiles are difficult to delete; that has to be done by LinkedIn at your request. It usually (at the time of this article) takes about two days to get your profile deleted. LinkedIn is a professional social media outlet for professional networking. Follow these guidelines for keeping your LinkedIn page in a favorable light.

Do not post entries or posts that contain vulgarity, sexually explicit remarks, or potentially political or religious inflammatory remarks. In a nut-shell follow the same rules posted above for Facebook. Additionally it is important to remember to keep your LikedIn content professional, and relevant to your professional career.

Your LinkedIn photo, which it is HIGHLY suggested that you have, should be professional. A clear, crisp headshot that has a relatively solid background is preferable. If your career direction is one where a suit and tie would be expected even part of the time then have your photo taken with a suit and tie. For both men and women, the photo should be business dress as opposed to business casual. If your career is one where dressing business casual is not required it is a good rule of thumb to go ahead and have your photo taken with business casual attire. Refrain from “goofy” faces, hand gestures, and most of all using objects, logos, pets, animals, movie images, etc. Only use your portrait, if you do not use a portrait then leave the image blank.

Ultimately it is important to be your self on social media, however, you should always temper that with professionalism as it is not just your “friends” who are looking at your social media posts. Remember this rule of thumb; “Nothing you post on the web is private”.

For further guidance on how to edit or delete social media entries or even delete accounts refer to the instructions on the social media sites themselves. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have excellent instructions on how to make these things happen and with a little time and attention you can “tune up” your social media and have it ready for your next step in getting your dream career.

~ Article by Tobin Pilotte, Directer of Marketing and Technology for Forward March Inc. 

Employment Preparation Part 1 of 3

Forward March Inc. has posted some new positions on our website and more are coming in January! Make sure to check them out here…

We thought, with all these new positions coming on line in the next 30 days, we would post a three part series we released earlier in the year to help veterans and transitioning military in the areas of resumes, interviewing, social media and a more.This information is actually really helpful to anyone from any background when they are going through the job searching process so feel free to share it with anyone you know may be benefitted by the info in these articles.

Military and Veteran Employment Preparation – Part 1 of 3

 resume tips

Landing a career as opposed to a job is what most every transitioning military person or military veteran desires. There are countless websites, books and other instructional resources that can help with figuring out what you want to do for a career, how to get an interview in your chosen profession, career networking, and how to land that dream job. Today’s post is not intended to be comprehensive but rather a guide for getting started once you have an idea of what you want to do for a career.

120314-A-DQ783-028“This seems like a lot of work” – Just remember, battles are frequently won or lost on the quality of intel. Your job search is no different. The more intel work you do, the more background knowledge you have of your desired position(s) and potential employer(s), the better you will do. Know your industry to the best of your ability through research. Practice being conversant about your field, your desired job, and about your desired employer in order to get the most out of your interview. 

Part I: Interview or Job Fair Preparation: 

Use a military skills translator and find the jobs that your skills translate to in the civilian world. Remember that these are a rough guide and not an exhaustive list. Many times your skills can translate to jobs or positions that are not seemingly aligned. This is where it is also important for you to do some research to see what it is you want to do job-wise. Research the jobs you want, the employers, and the job descriptions. Translate your experience to match where applicable.

VA Translator

Military.com Translator

Market yourself as broadly as possible – If you are an aircraft mechanic and only want to interview for aircraft mechanic jobs then market yourself very specifically in just that skillset. However, if you want to look at other possibilities in mechanics from auto mechanics to wind turbine mechanics to oilfield mechanics then be more broad with how you market your skills within mechanics. Highlight mechanics related skills that translate across several disciplines.

When you are preparing for a job fair and you know there will be a variety of employers, make sure to have several resumes in different formats that are industry specific. You can also have resumes on hand that are very specific to your ideal job on hand in case you are leaning to a particular specific position. HINT: keep each resume kind in a file folder that is clearly labeled so that you can quickly and easily access them when moving from employer to employer.

Resume Format – Know the correct format for your particular industry. There are on-line resources that give plenty of examples of resumes; focus more on the examples for your particular industry. For instance, an engineering firm wants a conservative resume, a graphic design firm wants something with creative flair. However, if you are applying for a government contracting position with a company such as Lockheed Martin or Boeing they will most likely have a format they want you to put your resume into. Check out this link for some industry specific examples:

Monster Resume Examples

Network, Network, Network – Use LinkedIn, make your profile as neat and professional as possible. Use the above pointers, such as being brief but concise.

Look for and maintain network connections with people in the fields you are looking at going into. Network with people doing the work you want to do. Do not pass up opportunities to meet with these connections in person. Take concrete steps to meet these connections, especially in person. When reaching out to a potential connection on the internet, especially on LinkedIn make sure to make your message personal, do not use the default message.

As a veteran you are given a year of LinkedIn pro. Make that happen. (Offer is good as of the writing of this article)

In your network connections make sure you have a few trusted professional connections that can review your resume, and your LinkedIn page to make sure that they are as professional as possible.

Those trusted mentors are good resources for practicing your interviewing skills with.

Network with professional organizations, groups, and clubs that have people in your industry as members.

Dress to Impress – When interviewing put your best foot forward with regards to your appearance. When interviewing for a job it is important to go with business dress, a suit or at minimum; slacks, button down shirt, and a tie. Vests can be worn as well but try to keep your overall appearance conservative. That bright red silk shirt might be great but keep it for another occasion. If you need to appear in uniform ensure that your uniform is impeccable. ACUs are never acceptable for an interview or when meeting employers at a job fair. The exception to this would be if there is a job/career fair that is brought to your (military) location during duty hours and it is understood that everyone will be in ACUs.

These tips and suggestions should help you move toward landing the job you are looking for and starting on an exciting new career.

Check out the Tools and Resources page on our website for valuable links to help in your veteran job search or your military transition. 

Make sure you bookmark this site and come back for parts 2 and 3 where we will continue with social media and interview tips and suggestions.

~ Article by Tobin Pilotte, Directer of Marketing and Technology for Forward March Inc. 

Are You a Great Military Talent Recruiter?

Good recruiters are not born, they are developed. They are developed through formal training, professional development, and operational experience. Great recruiters, on the other hand, not only develop themselves, but they make a habit of routinely doing exceptional things. Perhaps the most exceptional thing a recruiter can do is have no fear when it comes to attracting and hiring military veterans.

RECRUITING

Whether you are a recruiter for a fortune 500 company or a small business, the fact is the military veteran population is a pool of highly qualified, well-trained, and motivated potential employees ready to work.

Here are some things that exceptional military talent recruiters have and do:

Passion. Recruiting is all about passion. It’s obvious that a great recruiter is passionate about the company he or she works for and they are passionate about the people who want to work there. A great military talent recruiter is even more passionate for our veterans and those currently serving. Thanking a veteran for their service is great, but what we should be doing is giving them opportunity. Move from words to concrete action. Making an extra effort to bring veterans to the team is true passion.

FMI Brochure

Competence. A great military talent recruiter understands the military culture. He or she understands what a Sergeant is and does. They understand what platoons, companies and battalions are. They understand military lingo and how to read a DD 214. This makes them great recruiters because they do not shy away from calling veterans in for an interview. Instead of funneling veteran resumes to the trash bin, they take action. They believe in supporting our troops by hiring them.

Compassion. An outstanding military talent recruiter does not necessarily need to be a veteran, but they definitely need to be sensitive and empathetic to the life experiences of our service members. Knowing what to ask and not to ask during an interview prevents barriers to communication. Understanding potential disabilities, but not letting them skew the hiring decision is not only the right thing to do, it’s the law. Compassion comes from listening. Great recruiters pay outstanding attention to the needs of a veteran applicant.

9547808574_734a2263c8_bMatch people, not paper. I understand military resumes are sometimes confusing and do not always capture the true value of the veteran.   As I have said many times before, our separating military members need to do a better job at military to civilian skills translation. While this remains an uphill battle for our military, great recruiters do two exceptional things here. First, they do not automatically dismiss military resumes. Second, outstanding recruiters can see past the jargon and are willing to give veterans a chance at an interview where the service member can truly highlight their skill-sets.

Not letting a computer do the recruiting. RECRUITING IS A PEOPLE BUSINESS! Allowing software to run key word obsessed recruiting for an organization is the wrong answer. Great recruiters understand this. They interact with people, not machines.   A great military talent recruiter, is aware, however, of key words such as, Company Commander, Platoon Sergeant, Squad leader, Senior Chief, First Sergeant, Wing Commander, etc. These are the key words that identify true leaders and outstanding candidates.

meetingHonesty. Within the military culture, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are provided initial counseling at the beginning of each new assignment. This counseling lays out all expectations from personal performance to what to expect on the job. Great military talent recruiters do the same thing. Outstanding recruiters are honest about the job they are hiring for. The job description is going to list the duties of a warehouse worker, but it’s up to the recruiter to tell the veteran that in the summer time the temperatures on the warehouse loading dock reach 95 plus degrees. The applicant needs to know that overtime is the norm and so is being called in on short notice when demand increases.   The veteran needs to know it’s a high stress job with a high turn-over rate. Just lay it all out and the veteran employee will step up and make it happen.

Follow-ups. As I talk to many transitioning veterans and listen to their stories, I am completely baffled at the amount of recruiters who do not return a phone calls or e-mails. A great military talent recruiter understands the fighting spirit of our military members and understand that an aggressive follow-up by veteran applicants are par for the course. While I understand recruiters are extremely busy, that is no excuse for ignoring those who gave so much of themselves to protect the freedoms we enjoy. Outstanding military talent recruiters are never too busy to return a phone call or an e-mail and always keep the applicant informed.

FMI TENANTS LOGOGreat recruiters are not born, they are developed. Let Forward March Inc. train your recruiters to be exceptional military talent scouts. We have a comprehensive Military Talent Hiring Guide and we can help develop a pipeline and hiring strategy for success as well as train your HR department on all the best ways to recruit military veterans. We will take your company from good to great!

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Forward March Inc Military Hiring Guide

Forward March Inc Military Hiring Guide

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services