Each year over 200,000 individuals leave military service and return to the community, most from where they were born and raised. These are very talented individuals who have worked within a organized structure to achieve objectives in sometimes difficult and life threatening situations.
Learning from our forefathers, those in the military make good fire and EMS personnel, many times coming with the skills and knowledge already needed to fight fires, rescue people and perform medical services. This is a very talented pool of job seekers looking for military-like or military friendly organization to become a part of for a career or to volunteer. So, the question becomes – how do I attract them? Here are some steps:
- Develop a recruitment strategy for veterans. Find out who is returning home, when they are returning home, etc. If there are local groups such as the VFW or American Legion (from whom you probably already have members), work them to recruit.
- If you do have connections to current members of the armed forces (their parents, relatives or friends) advise them the fire company is a way for the returning service member to get engaged with civilians and the community, make new friends, etc.
- Do the marketing thing. Work with local military recruiters when individuals leave the service to route them to you for engagement. Provide promotional items if necessary, to peak their interest.
- If there are existing veteran websites in your area, they may be willing to allow you to advertise your organization.
- Be able to translate the current military activities, language and engagement into your organization. Current members with prior military experience can help achieve this.
These are just a few tips, but here is the big one….Veterans can play a big part in your organization. Recruit them, engage them, make them welcome and they will help make your organization successful.