Nov 11, 2021
The Value of Hiring Veterans

By David Cordani, President and CEO, Cigna, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman and CEO, FedEx

Today, we honor our veterans for their service and for their selflessness in protecting our democracy and freedom. As business leaders, we believe Veterans Day is also a perfect opportunity to thank these outstanding individuals for another way they make our society stronger: through their contributions as employees at companies like ours.

Cigna and FedEx are intentional about recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans — and we are better companies as a result. Our colleagues who are veterans contribute mightily to our success in serving our customers and other stakeholders and in fulfilling our missions. Veterans have so much to offer the business world, and we believe that it’s more important than ever that companies harness their talents.

Veterans bring a powerful blend of experience and skills that serve them — and their employers — well. Thanks to the training they undergo to serve in the armed forces, veterans know how to take initiative and perform under pressure. They work well in teams and in diverse, cross-cultural environments. They are resilient and dependable, with a strong work ethic. As leaders, they know how to take care of their troops — creating teams that are skilled, informed, and motivated to achieve the mission. Veterans also enrich corporate cultures by bringing military values like honor, integrity, and commitment to their work.

Companies that want to attract — and retain — veterans must work to become an “employer of choice,” creating the kind of workplace where veterans want to spend their post-military careers. That means having dedicated veteran recruitment and hiring programs, as well as a culture that supports veterans in the workplace and the community, for example:

  • Supporting Employee Resource Groups for veterans and military service members, to help build community.
  • Providing support and resources to promote both physical and mental well-being.
  • Providing veteran-friendly Employee Assistance Program services.
  • Supporting active-duty and veteran causes in the community, through corporate volunteerism and philanthropy.

These are among the many examples of actions companies can take to attract and support veterans — and make their entire workplace better as a result.

Cigna and FedEx are proud to be recognized as part of Military Times’ 2021 “Best for Vets” employers — an annual ranking of “the country’s best employers and organizations with military-connected employment programs, benefits and support efforts.” But more importantly, we’re proud — and grateful — to have so many colleagues who are veterans.

On this Veterans Day, we thank them for their service, and for inspiring us every day in the workplace. We encourage all companies to get focused on hiring veterans and providing them the support they need to succeed. Today is a great day to make that commitment!

FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Cigna President and CEO David Cordani has a longstanding commitment to supporting veteran causes and volunteers as a running guide for wounded veterans with the Achilles International Freedom Team.