Written by Lee Kirby, Co-Founder & Chairman of Salute Mission Critical
As a society we rely on brave young women and men to selflessly serve our country. They do so knowing that they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. We then as a society and therefore government should feel an obligation to ensure a smooth transition to civilian life when they complete their service. As it has throughout history, government has failed to solve this problem but enlightened capitalists in society are seizing the opportunity to tap into a resource pool of talent that have been trained and tested in the most extreme circumstances.
There are great initiatives across the country that are committing to hiring veterans. The mission touches your heart on the surface but when you look deeper you realize it is a truly enlightened businessperson that realizes that this resource pool is unique in its extraordinary value. There is nowhere else that you could find a group of people who have been taught to think critically and to learn quickly and to adapt to any situation while their actions are all taken with the objective in mind. Two examples of enlightenment are Walmart and Veterans Job Mission (a coalition of private sector companies) that have committed to transitioning veterans into civilian life. Walmart’s goal alone is 250,000 veterans. The Veterans Job Mission started with a goal of 100,000 and is nearing half a million towards their new goal of a million. They and others like them “get it” and are reaping the rewards by building a work force of highly disciplined leaders.
It is time that the data center industry realize that the secret is out and that veterans should be sought out to fill the personnel shortage. For years, many in the industry have known that “Navy nukes” are an easy fit into the industry but if that is the only segment of the veteran population our industry uses, we are going to suffer because it is not enough. “Navy nukes” are great but they are a tiny sliver of the veteran population and not enough to satisfy the personnel shortage in this rapidly growing industry. There are however hundreds of thousands of highly skilled, disciplined, motivated veterans looking to transition every year and to ignore them is bad for the industry and your business.
As Salute reaches its sixth anniversary, it has proven the value of veterans to the data center industry. We have taken every type of experience from infantry to mechanics and turned them into world class data center technicians that are delivering value in an industry clamoring for talent. Our industry is invisible to most but critical to the growth of the digital economy and we as an industry need to realize that we are competing for highly valued talent and start aggressively recruiting all veterans not just “Navy nukes” if we want to grow this industry with strength.