Passing the Torch Forward: One Veteran’s Journey with Salesforce

Veteran’s Day is one of mixed feelings for me. I became a Veteran as a very young woman after serving in the Navy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004. My military career was short and intense; I didn’t feel like anyone’s hero. After being indoctrinated into military life at the impressionable age of 18, my unceremonious exit from service was akin to being tossed into a washing machine spin cycle: dizzying and completely disorienting. But like my Brothers and Sisters in Arms, I am resilient. We had to be, as did the many who came before us.

Perhaps the greatest blessing to my future career was the anchor of purpose I found in working with mission-oriented nonprofits, following my discharge from the Navy. An even greater agent of success for me was the equalizing tide of technology that lifts all ships in this sector.

There is a responsibility that comes with riding that wave.

When socially responsible organizations like Salesforce speak of the modern Fourth Industrial Revolution, they are referring to the giant risk of social and economic inequality that comes with lightning-fast technological progress. Like any vulnerable population, our otherwise well-trained and capable Veterans are getting left behind as industries shift rapidly beneath their newly planted feet. It was from Salesforce leader Marc Benioff’s vision of closing gaps in economic opportunity that many workforce readiness initiatives — Vetforce included — were born.

When I joined Salesforce.org as a Veteran, Army military spouse and nonprofit Account Executive in 2016, I immediately plugged into the Vetforce Community, where I found my tribe. What’s more, I found greater purpose as a Senior Program Advisor to the Vetforce Ohana and Training Program. Within a short couple of years, I aided in the redesign and relaunch of an online training community for Veterans and Military Spouses, hosted a Dreamforce session with an Assistant Secretary of the Navy (check out video of the event), designed Trailhead modules for employers and launched a Veteran recruitment pilot at Salesforce.com…just because I raised my hand.

Now that I have joined Fionta’s Executive Team, it’s my responsibility to share with our clients, partners, and colleagues the tremendous resources available to build teams with Veterans and Military Spouses through the Vetforce Program:

  1. FREE Salesforce skills training for careers as Salesforce Administrators, Developers and Business Analysts. Veterans and military spouses can embark on one or more learning journeys where they receive structured, self-paced Salesforce training to achieve Salesforce certifications in a collaborative community environment.
  2. Available workforce-ready talent for Salesforce Teams. Organizations using Salesforce or companies doing business in the Salesforce ecosystem can bolster their teams and build a pipeline of future leaders by becoming a Vetforce Partner Workplace.

How can you participate in this movement to close the gap in Veteran underemployment?

If you are or know a military Veteran or spouse who could use a career boost or transfer, visit veterans.force.com to learn more about the training program.

If you are an employer, take the Salesforce Trailhead learning journey to explore how you can strengthen and diversity your workforce with military Veterans.

Finally, Veteran Service Organizations and other related nonprofits always need support to help Veterans transition and overcome challenges. Today is a great day to give to a VSO online or near you.