I’ll admit, before I came to National Able Network and took over the Veterans Forward program, I never made it a priority to find veteran talent. Sure, if I happened upon a veteran during the hiring process, I made sure to give them a good interview. But, I never pushed my HR teams to target military talent.

Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, I know now that I missed some wonderful talent. I missed people like Tammi, a United States Air Force veteran who spent years training other pilots and has that can-do spirit that you just expect in service members. I missed people like Kevin, a former soldier who quietly gets the job done without the need to call attention to himself, and who went out and earned his Bachelors and Master’s Degree after years of serving in the United States Army. I also missed Joaquin, who rescued downed pilots, but was not sure how to translate that skill to the civilian workforce.

I regret not making hiring veterans more of a priority and losing the chance to work with truly talented individuals. I urge employers to reinforce their efforts to find military talent, not because it looks good or because it offers a tax credit, but because of the tremendous assets that our veterans bring to the workforce. Veterans have project management skills. In the military, it’s common for a service member in his or her early 20s to be responsible for a project from start to finish. That includes managing personnel, equipment and supplies, creating a timeline and sticking to it, and coordinating with multiple entities. Veterans have communication skills. Whether they are writing reports, project plans, or communicating succinctly on the radio, communication skills are essential in the military. Most importantly, veterans have learned to get the job done without complaint. I know service members who have been in the most austere conditions and given the most challenging jobs, yet they prevailed and got the mission done.

These adaptable skill sets are the kinds of things 21st century employers should be pining for. Last year, Veterans Forward served 492 veterans. Seventy-three percent of them found employment thanks to our work. If you are seeking highly qualified veterans to build your business, email vets@nationalable.org to learn more.