“Stay Until the Mission is Complete” article I wrote about our Military in the Voice of Inclusion Magazine 2012

“Stay Until the Mission is Complete”
I retired from the Air Force in 1992 and some 19 years later this call to duty still resonates with my soul. The soul is comprised of the mind, will and emotions. Think about that for a minute. You can have someone within your organization that has the mission in his or her mind-intellect or understanding, will-determined or sure to and emotions-the affective aspect of consciousness. The military is a goal, assignment, vision and mission-driven entity or enterprise. No matter which branch or division, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corp or Coast Guard the mantra is the same, “Stay Until the Mission is Complete.” You will be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated and loyal employee as each serviceman or servicewoman has been hard wired to complete the task at hand understanding there is a greater purpose behind all that we do. If your organization has a well-defined Mission Statement and clear objectives outlined, an ex-military employee will fulfill it and communicate it with passion and poise to the entire company structure by their day- to-day implementation through hard work, ethical habits, due diligence and shear drive and determination.
Our veterans deserve the undivided attention of our nation. From the President to our most newborn citizen, we owe them a debt of gratitude! I applaud our First Lady Michelle Obama for her commitment to the veteran’s cause. Thank you First Lady! Now let me make this as clear as possible; we as veterans are not looking for a hand out. We do have some who are homeless and very desperate, and what homeless person is not desperate in some way. That’s another story for another issue. But, we do want an opportunity to prove ourselves in the corporate, non-profit and educational realms. Our skills are transferrable; we learn very quickly; we adapt to culture readily, and assimilate with ease. I have been discharged for some time now but understand that the military is doing a much better job of preparing our servicemen and women to matriculate back into society. I’m certain there is more that can be done and that’s another story also for another issue.
Recruiting, training, retaining and promoting veterans can be a win-win scenario. The military is one of the most diverse organizations in the world. My last Commanding Officer was a Colonel of Chinese decent. My Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge was a Senior Master Sergeant of Irish decent. The men and women serving next to me were from every walk of life and represented a rainbow of ethnicity. And, yours truly is an African American. We veterans can help you with your disabled initiatives as many of us are returning wounded and in need of assistance. We have a very strong LGBT representation as well. Hiring and/or helping veterans covers so many programs within your corporate structure that it just makes dollars and sense to aggressively go after this market.
In my humble opinion we live in the greatest nation EVER! Part of the reason we are the greatest can be summed up in two words, Our Military. The men and women who serve this nation serve us all and they do it with such pride and appreciation for the United States of America. Veterans… we love you all! Now let’s go out and help them find good jobs, housing, educational opportunities, and the best healthcare this nation has to offer!
Devin Oten
Staff Sergeant, Retired, Air Force
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