What does Military Friendly® mean?
Military Friendly® is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful opportunity for the military community.
Now, let’s unpack that.
“Military Friendly®”: The term “Military” refers to all people in the military community; which includes active duty, reserve and guard service members, veterans and military spouses. It does NOT refer to the military as an organization. It’s also a trademarked name. That’s important because there are lots of copycat military lists and ratings programs which don’t possess the rigor and history of Military Friendly®. It’s important to trademark the name and protect its integrity so that when you see the Military Friendly®seal and logo, you can trust what that means.
“is the standard”: It’s a designation that establishes baseline expectations in key areas to earn designation. Organizations that go above and beyond the baseline expectations can earn higher levels, which we call awards. This awards system of upward mobility incentivizes organizations to always strive to do more to support veterans.
“that measures”: Our ratings program is formulaic. It is objective. It has an outside Military Friendly® Advisory Council that provides perspective on criteria, methodology and weighting. It has a third party auditor (EY: Ernst & Young) verify the results.
“an organization’s”: This is purposefully a broad term because, as we currently rate large companies and post-secondary schools, we believe that every organization in America should be incentivized to be Military Friendly® so we seek to expand ratings to new types of organizations.
“commitment”: Commitment is the first of three sequential steps toward building a military program. Commitment refers to an organization setting policy.
“effort”: Effort is the second of three sequential steps and refers to an organization committing resources; people, time, capital, toward their military program. Think of this as them putting their money where their mouth is.
“and success“: Success is the third of three sequential steps and refers to an organization’s results. How successful have they been in building their program?
“in creating sustainable”: Sustainable refers to the duration of the benefit. In this case, it means that the benefit is virtually infinite in duration. It is self-perpetuating because it is fueled by providing core long-term value and ROI to the organization. Conversely, programs which are fueled by political or charitable tendencies, face certain demise when those inevitable winds shift direction.
“and meaningful”: Meaningful refers to the scope and origin of the benefit. In this case, it means that the benefit lifts the entire community. This is unlike a charitable donation which often benefits only a disaffected few. Meaningful also refers to the benefit being not an entitlement, but rather an opportunity. This is in line with our belief that the military community seeks a hand up, not a hand out.
“opportunity”: Those in the military community should have an equal right to professional opportunities in the private sector. But because of the nature of military service, organizations must work a little harder to provide those opportunities. For example, organizations must work to understand how to translate military skills into civilian ones, provide a culture that welcomes transitioning veterans, and provide flexibility to military spouses, reserve and Guard members who move often or deploy. We believe this flexibility, support and investment is worth it because the return is a highly trained and dedicated veteran or military spouse employee, supplier or student.
“for the military community.”: The military community does not refer to the Department of Defense. It refers to the people who serve, serve alongside or served: active duty, guard, reserve, military spouses and veterans.