There are approximately 1.4 million active duty troops in the United States Armed Forces. This past September, 33,000 troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan. President Obama plans to bring home the remaining 68,000 troops stationed there at the end of 2013.
When military personnel return home, some continue to serve, but many are discharged and return to civilian life and the search for employment.
Veterans are responsible, organized, and possess strong work ethics. The Small Business Administration found that veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans, and that slightly more than half of veterans are self-employed.
Click through this photo gallery for nine companies that employ a large number of former military personnel and have great programs to help make the switch from enlisted to employed.
Photo: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images
BNSF Railway and its 32,000 miles of track were purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2010. The railway is the leading carrier of coal in the United States, shipping 274 million tons of coal in 2008. A quarter of its hires in 2011 were veterans, bringing BNSF’s total veteran employment to 7,200. It provides on the job training as part of the GI Bill.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
As the nation’s leading wireless provider, Verizon employs almost 13,000 veterans. The company offers orientation and mentoring programs for veterans and hiring programs for their spouses. Its site contains a military skills matcher for those seeking employment, and provides a search function to locate Verizon offices closest to military bases.
Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad runs 8,000 locomotives on more than 31,000 miles of track in 23 states west of the Mississippi. Veterans compose 20 percent of its 45,000 employees and 10 percent of its executive ranks. Union Pacific Railroad offers mentoring programs for veterans and reservists, in addition to hiring programs for military spouses and the GI Bill’s on-job training programs.
Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images
General Electric is a leader in energy and technology infrastructure, and the 14th most profitable company in the United States. It currently employs 21,000 veterans. GE offers special on-the-job training programs as part of the GI Bill, in addition to other veteran and reservist transition programs.
Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images
Boeing is one of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world, providing planes for both the military and civilians. It is among America’s largest exporters. Boeing employs almost 25,000 veterans currently, having hired 1,700 in 2011. It offers mentoring programs for veterans and reservists and features a skills translator on its site so military personnel can find the jobs that suit them best.
The Atlanta-based power company provides the majority of power in the South and is the fourth largest utility company in the United States. It employs more than 2,800 veterans, offering them mentoring programs and on-the-job training under the GI Bill.
Photo: Southern Company
Originally founded in 1922 to provide veterans with affordable insurance, USAA has since expanded into a bank and financial services company. Of its 23,000 employees, more than 2,700 are veterans. USAA has orientation, training, and mentoring programs for veterans, in addition to a hiring program for their spouses. Its website also has a job skills translator, helping veterans apply their military training to civilian occupations.
U.S. Airways is the fourth largest passenger carrier in the United States, offering more than 3,000 flights daily, and the company just had its best third quarter ever. It employs more than 11,000 veterans, who make up over one third of all U.S. Airways employees. U.S. Airways offers job orientation and mentoring for veterans and reservists.
Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He’s covered a wide range of topics for TakePart, but is particularly interested in politics and policy. Email Andrew |@natureofdabeast | TakePart.com