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Why Hiring a Veteran is a Plus for Employers
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Lt. Col. Barry and Mangle Shanks, Ph.D. with Citizen Soldier for Life taking questions.
Lt. Col. Barry and Mangle Shanks, Ph.D. with Citizen Soldier for Life.
Photo Credit: Antonio Mack
Hiring military veterans is a win-win proposition for the employer and the veteran. “Veterans and active members of the National Guard are great employees because they have a high sense of professionalism and leadership skills,” said Lieutenant Colonel James T. Barry, employment outreach manager for the Mississippi National Guard.
“A plus for organizations employing veterans is they might receive a Returning Heroes Tax Credit. Employers of veterans with service-related disabilities may receive a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit,” added Lt. Col. Barry. “Both credits can reduce the taxes paid on salaries.”
Lt. Col. Barry and Mangle Shanks, Ph.D., with Citizen Soldier for Life, spoke at the June 19 Workforce Wednesday Luncheon hosted by American Graduate —Getting to Work initiative. The Mississippi Public Broadcasting monthly event keeps interested persons informed of the state’s workforce opportunities and challenges. It is a perfect time for networking time between organizations, job seekers and workforce development representatives.
“Active Guard members and veterans already have effective soft skills as a result of their military training making them a first-rate choice for employers,” said Lt. Col. Barry

According to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, the top ten reasons to hire veterans and National Guard and Reserve members are:
  1. Leadership—are excellent leaders and outstanding followers: loyal, dedicated and highly motivated
  2. Professionalism—have a high degree of integrity, an air of self-respect and a sense of humor
  3. Responsibility—know how to make decisions and take responsibility for meeting objectives
  4. Understand diversity—succeeded in a very diverse workplace
  5. Physical conditioning—are in top physical condition, resilient and drug-free
  6. “Can do attitude”—possess critical skills
  7. Calm under pressure—are resilient and know how to handle stress, both on and off the job
  8. First class image—understand a professional appearance is a must
  9. On-time, all the time—know that every second counts
  10. Global perspective—have experiences directly related to current world events

Dr. Mangle Shanks, a career readiness counselor for patriotic enterprises at Citizen Soldier for Life, not only helps veterans and their families find jobs but find better jobs. “Improving their quality of life is an important objective,” added Dr. Shanks.

“We help National Guard members, their immediate family, veterans, and retirees complete their Career Readiness Standards. Also, we prepare them with knowledge, tools and skills to achieve their career goals.” Citizen Soldier for Life has locations in the 54 states, territories and District of Columbia.
Some of the employment resources offered by Citizen Soldier for Life are:
  • Resume development
  • Interview guidance
  • Military skills translation
  • Budget creation
  • Individual counseling
  • Financial literacy

“Anyone looking for a job can take advantage of the online career exploration tool offered by O*NET to identify their career interests, skills, strengths and more,” said Dr. Shanks.

O*NET offers a set of self-directed career exploration/assessment tools to help workers consider and plan career options, preparation, and transitions more effectively. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Workforce Wednesdays are a part of MPB’s American Graduate: Getting to Work initiative to help advance education and career readiness locally. MPB works with partners across the state to assess workforce challenges, determine opportunities, produce content on career paths and skills needed for students and workers.

The next event will be held July 17th and is open to the public with limited seating. Registration is required. Visit for more information.