Inbound Logistics | July 2022

instruct others, manage peers or step up in a crisis,” Leeson says. “A natural leader is a major asset to any team.” Veterans have pre-installed soft skills that organizations value highly because they know they can build on them. The maturity of veterans makes up for skill gaps, according to Tom Voshell, vice president of the Federal Program Management Ofce at Coupa, which provides a cloud-based spend management platform with a supply chain design and optimization component. As the company expands into the public sector, it is recruiting veterans for cloud operations, support, technical services, and secure ops. It can be difcult to map military experience—referred to by MOS, AFSC, or RATE classications used by the various military branches—into commercial requirements, Voshell says. One example is trying to nd a veteran who is certied in AWS Cloud. A veteran might have done that job in the military, but just doesn’t have the certication. If that’s the case, he says, it may take a little bit of education for them to get certied. CoupaU is one online resource with courses and certication tracks veterans can leverage. The recruits Voshell sees are extremely dedicated to digging in and learning, especially when given the ability to expand on their career. “They see it as an

himself that his organization does for thousands of vets every year–transfer military skills to the private business environment. “On an aviation parlance, I can wiggle the sticks and make a helicopter y,” he explains. “But there’s so much more to that.” Among the low-ying skills he lists are planning and coordinating the mission set and assets; the decision- making and risk management in the ight; the coordination across the team; and the logistics, supply chain, and production control that goes into aircraft maintenance. TECHSAVVY SKILLS Exposure to advanced technology like the systems of an Apache helicopter makes veterans natural adapters of today’s supply chain technologies and advanced systems onboard trucks. The tech-savvy abilities of today’s veterans is attractive to Averitt Express. “We live in an age when our military is smarter, better educated, and more capable than ever thanks to cutting-edge technology and expert training,” says Elise Leeson, vice president of human resources for freight transportation and supply chain management provider. Teamwork and leadership are also traits of veterans prized by companies like Averitt. “At all levels of the military, people are expected to lead by example,

Eric Vasquez, currently a senior master sergeant in the Air Force Reserve, as well as the managing member and owner of Veterans Logistics Group, believes that everything the military does is on the cutting edge of logistics. “Take any member of the military who’s stationed stateside, regardless of their specically trained job, and logistics would apply,” he says. “When any conict arises, global mobility kicks in at a moment’s notice. That’s the entire purpose of our training.” When the deployment package drops, he says, everything moves: tanks, guns, freight, equipment—and reservists like him, who have 12 hours to grab their deployment bag and report to base. Innovation was the tip of the spear that led to the inception of Veterans Logistics Group. Sitting in critical production meetings, seeing the repair of a multi-million-dollar aircraft being held up by parts lost as they were being expedited across the country, inspired Vasquez to develop a proprietary tracking technology and logistics company, anchored in transparency and agile solutions. Not every veteran separates from the military with formal skills in logistics, supply chain or transportation. Third- party logistics providers and other companies that hire military veterans gravitate toward other competencies common in those who have served. FROM PUBLIC TO PRIVATE A frequent challenge for service members and the companies recruiting them is translating public sector skills to the private sector. Ross Dickman knows the challenge rsthand. He is an Army veteran and the chief operating ofcer of Hire Heroes USA, a not-for-prot organization that helps military veterans and their spouses nd new careers. During his 12 years with the Army, Dickman ew Apache helicopters. “There are not many jobs outside of the military that require that skill set,” he says. After his separation from the military, Dickman had to do the same work on

J.B. Hunt’s support for veterans was established by founder Johnnie Bryan Hunt, a truck driver and Army veteran. Today, nearly one in seven J.B. Hunt employees are vets.

July 2022 • Inbound Logistics 147

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