Becoming a Veteran Champion in the Workforce | Kathy Gallowitz

"Veteran workers are the solution to the talent gap and are the workforce of tomorrow." Kathy Gallowitz, Episode 113

Are you struggling to hire the right employees?

You may not have considered this talent pool: veterans.

Less than 3% of veterans are unemployed, while more than 30% are underemployed…

Veteran and award-winning businesswoman Kathy Gallowitz is here to share how civilians can champion veterans in the workforce.

Kathy believes businesses can leverage veterans’ unique training and skills—but only if leaders are committed to helping veterans overcome the challenges of returning to the civilian workforce.

We’ll also discuss:

  • Why veteran underemployment occurs

  • A military translation tool for recruiters

  • The differences between military and civilian culture

  • And more


Kathy Gallowitz: I mean, I believe that veteran workers are the solution to the talent gap, solution to the workforce of tomorrow.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast with professional speaker, coach and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome everybody to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer, and they call me the vibrant coach and I am here with an amazing guest on our podcast today. You’re not going to want to miss today and anything we’ve done in the past and anything we’re going to do in the future. So would you please click the subscribe button to make sure this stuff gets in your inbox? Please take this stuff out of your own hands and let technology take over. So let me tell you who I’ve got on the show today. 

I have got a woman who has done amazing things with her career. Listen to this. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Kathy Gallowitz was heavily influenced by military service. Growing up as a Navy brat and serving nearly 30 years as an Air Force officer, can you get your head wrapped around that please, and she is the author of the book Beyond Thank You For Your Service. And so many of your thinking. I’m a veteran. My dad was a veteran, my brother, my uncle, my sister, my mother, my cousin, okay. She loves her veterans. 

And so she has written this book Beyond Thank You For Your Service. It is the veteran champion handbook for civilians in this book, right? Especially if you’re in HR. Hello, my HR friends, you need this book. All right, so you can get it on her website. She’s going to tell us how to find it. So just hang on. All right, so she has her master’s degree in nursing and political science. She is also an award-winning businesswoman and the veteran hiring advisor for the Arizona Society of Human Resource Management, or as they say, the SHRM okay. And Kathy coaches employers on how to excel with hiring and retaining veteran talent. 

So hold on, do you have a lot of people you need to hire? Don’t miss that. This is the connection you need. A highly sought-after talent pool, the veterans, less than 3% of veterans are unemployed, while more than 30% are under-employed. So let’s let’s go there first, when we get done here, Kathy. Kathy’s Veteran Talent Academy equips employers to find and fully employ and retain veterans. Kathy also equips volunteer faith community leaders to build military ministries to cultivate mutual support, a sense of belonging and spiritual resiliency, she’s god girl, for service members, veterans and their families. All right, please welcome to the show, Lieutenant Colonel Kathy Gallowitz. I’m so glad you’re here.

Kathy: Nicole, you are a kick. Your vibrancy is shaking me in my boots, baby.

Nicole: Oh, that’s good. That’s good. Okay, I gotta go back to this thing. Okay. So for those of you listening, all you leaders, this is very good language you need to learn, and you may have never heard this. Let me repeat it. So veterans, a highly sought-after talent pool, less than 3% of veterans are unemployed, while more than 30% are under-employed. Will you dice that, slice that out for us so we see what the heck you’re talking about.

Kathy: So it’s pretty exciting. According to the Department of Labor in 2022, there was a nine month consecutive period where veteran unemployment was below 3%. I think it went up to 3.2% in December, but it is at historic lows. So that is, that is wonderful. And that is a strong tribute to nonprofits, private firms, Department of Defense programs. But I want to give the biggest shout out to our civilian veteran champions, our employers who understand the business case for hiring veterans, because research does show that we strengthen the workforce in many ways, because of what we learned through military service and how we apply those skills. 

If everybody can figure that out, how we strengthen the workforce in that way. So unemployment is very exciting, but underemployment remains relentless. One study even suggests that underemployment could be as high as 43%. I don’t think there’s really a lot of research in this space, but it’s somewhere between 30% and 43%. So you want to know why I think that is?

Nicole: I do. I want to know, because she is a veteran herself. She’s got the lowdown. Yeah. Tell us what the deal is.

Kathy: I think it’s, it stems from you know, kind of three primary reasons. First, the veteran comes out of, if you will, active duty service, in most cases, poorly prepared for the civilian job search process. For instance, I met a guy at Luke Air Force Base who’s getting ready to transition in the next six months. And his comment It to me was, I’ve been in the military 23 years. That’s all I know. Right? Okay, we know a lot of good stuff, but we’re very unfamiliar with the civilian workforce. He said, yeah, I went to interview with a large company. And they were asking me what I wanted to do. And I said to them, well where do you need me? Now, that’s the military approach. 

We work where and when we’re asked to work at the, you know, based on the needs of the military. So it’s a whole different mindset. Okay, so the veteran comes out poorly prepared, not really knowing, you know, really what they want to do in civilian life, you know, understanding, you know, in some cases, veterans haven’t had civilian job interviews, or any job interview, because our advancement process is very different. Sometimes there’s board interviews, but more often than not, there’s a whole separate branch that kind of moves you through your career as long as you meet certain criteria. 

So the veteran, you know, has to take responsibility for that. They need to figure out how to, you know, speak military terms when they do their resume, that’s their job, right. However, we appreciate the sensitivity of HR professionals and other hiring managers, to you know, give that resume a second look, and understand that if you hire for aptitude and training, you’re gonna get a lot of ROI on that investment. Okay. So, the veteran first and foremost. The second thing is the lack of training that human resource professionals have. I saw a statistic from the National SHRM that said that over half of HR professionals really feel like they need some support with recruitment and retention tools. 

And frankly, they don’t know how to speak the language. Right. There’s a, and so I think that’s really the third reason and that’s the differences between military and civilian culture. Some call it the military-civilian divide. And we just, it’s just different mindsets, different communication styles, you know, sometimes there’s bias and stigma, you know, and misconceptions and myths wrapped up in all that. But if we could just learn how to, we being the civilian workforce, learn how to leverage the culture and all the skill sets. Wow, would are our teams be stronger, and our companies more productive.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So I have a personal example of this. So I do recruiting in my business, as many of my listeners know. And I was recruiting for a company out in Colorado Springs, and there’s a ton of people in Colorado Springs that were in the military who are trying to figure out their civilian path. And I did notice that like, when I looked at the resumes, I was like, I don’t even know what this means on here. You know, I don’t know this lingo, this language. So, you know, I’m looking for folks to work in a.

Kathy: How long ago was that Nicole? How recent?

Nicole: Very recent, like October, November of 2022. Yeah. And what I did with one of my recruiters is that I’m like, okay, here’s what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna call these people.

Kathy: Thank you, thank you.

Nicole: Like, what does this mean?

Kathy: Oh, wonderful. That’s what veteran champions do.

Nicole: Oh, yeah. There we go. Yeah. And so anyway, I mean, I learned so much. And that’s the other thing, you know, we’re quick to judge, we’re quick to decide, we’re quick to categorize, you know, slow down, let’s figure out what was going on. So interviewed a bunch of veterans for that position. It was in a very high-end manufacturing facility.

Kathy: Nice. A good job for a veteran. I mean, you know, we can, our skills are highly transferable. Now, this gives me the opportunity to mention military skills translators. Have you ever looked or know what that is, Nicole? 

Nicole: No, please teach me. 

Kathy: I will offer you this as a link in the show notes if that’s okay for you to provide. But the one I really like is a military skills translator that I like the best is called O*NET. O, asterisk, N E T, the military, crosswalk search. And what’s great about it is you can take the military occupational codes of any service, plug in the number in the letter, let’s say, and the branch of service. And then up pops all these jobs that that occupational code is well suited for. For instance, in the army, there’s something called 11 Bravo. That’s an infantryman. If you know what an infantry person does, they’re the ones that do their real heavy lifting in the military. 

They’re trained to go into the battlefield and do the hard work, you know, and potentially kill people. Right? That’s their job. Right? So you think okay, well, what the heck is a 11 Bravo infantryman gonna do in civilian life? Well, you know what, there’s 20 jobs that pop up, and at the top of the list is a training and development manager. And you think, wow, how does that fit? Well, I tell you, there is so much training that we go through, and so many proficiencies that these people in the infantry have to have, and I’m not sure I can explain it much better than that. 

But it lists the knowledge, skills, abilities, you know, da da da that are commensurate with someone who’s been through, you know, basic training, advanced training. Who knows how to lead a squad or platoon of people. Who knows how to maintain inventory, you know, follows policy procedure. I mean, the list of skills and attributes are hidden, but they’re immense. And so these military skills translator, O*NET, being one in particular, really helped the HR person figure it out. 

So that resume that you got, and you’re kind of lost. If you had, you know, plugged in some of that stuff, or maybe even looked at it with the candidate and said, okay, I’m looking at this and because you know, what, the veterans oftentimes don’t even know about the military skills, translators. 

I mean, it would help them get a clearer path where they want to go. And so I’m an evangelist to make sure everybody understands that it’s a great tool, and it also helps you prepare for the interview. Okay, it says here that you’ve got these knowledge, skills and abilities. Tell me about how, you know why and how using behavioral kinds of questions in particular, right. Not why, that’s not a good question. But, you know, it will help frame your approach to your interview because you’re more knowledgeable.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And so what I want to let you know, is I’ve been asked to speak in quite a few SHRMs, and about recruiting because it’s such a hot topic. You know, like, everybody’s like, I can’t find anybody. And don’t miss this, everybody. While Kathy is saying that unemployment is at all time lows for veterans, there’s a huge amount of people that would like a better job, right. Right, they’re under employed. So we’ve got to go find these people. And we’ve got to know this. Alright, so don’t miss her little tool, everybody. O*NET.

Kathy: That is not that is not my tool, to be clear. It’s a national either Department of Labor. I forget the owner of that, but certainly not something I’ve created.

Nicole: Okay. Right. Her resource is O*NET. Okay. So get out there and check that out. That is fantastic. Okay. All right. So one thing I do on my podcast is I ask everybody about their definition of leadership, I think it is such a huge concept. Well, I want to hear what you have to say about that. And then I want to talk about the difference between military and civilian culture. But give me your little thoughts on leadership. What is your definition of leadership?

Kathy: I’m gonna borrow John Maxwell’s. I’m a John Maxwell speaker, trainer, coach, and he says, leadership is influence. Nothing more and nothing less. And I think I’ll throw in there my definition is, and that is to help people reach their potential and make the world a better place.

Nicole: I like your addition.

Kathy: Oh, thank you.

Nicole: Yeah, because know, that influence I mean, if you if you’ve ever watched, okay, so everybody, go watch a John Maxwell video on the YouTube, it’ll change your life. But anyway, so John Maxwell, he’s talking about influence, but like, you can positively influence and you can negatively influence. Or you can influence so positively you change the world like Kathy Gallowitz, all right. That’s what you need to be doing. Okay. All right. I love your definition. 

All right, everybody write that down. Influence to change the world. So here’s the question I’ve got for you. So you know, you’ve got a candidate, you’ve got somebody, yourself, you were in the military culture, and now they’re gonna come out and get into civilian culture. What are the big differences? How do we help our veterans come to work in a healthy and great way? In a vibrant way?

Kathy: You know, I think the prevailing sort of narrative is that, you know, military people act like drill sergeants. You know that’s what you see in the movies, right? Yelling and screaming. 

Nicole: Big stereotype.

Kathy: Kind of over the top. Well, there’s an important place for that, of course. When, I mean, when you take an 18 or 19, year old, undisciplined, maybe unruly youngster who’s, you know, just doesn’t know who they are or what they want, and you need to make them a warrior. By golly, you need to make sure they’re disciplined, responsive, and boy, they can take that hill. Okay. But so that is really a stereotype. But, it hints to things like communication style, you know. Veterans tend to be pretty direct. My husband, a career active army guy is known for saying, if someone’s long-winded, he’ll say, man, they’re eatin a good army oxygen, right. 

And so, you know, there’s a time and place to be direct and sometimes military people can lean more on an authoritative approach to leadership than an influential. Now, that doesn’t mean that all we can do is bark orders, because that’s not true. No matter where you are, what organization you’re in, leadership and relationships work best when they’re founded on trust, and humility of the leader. Okay, and yes, military leaders can and are humble. Okay. So it’s communication style. That’s very different. I think, you know, our expectations of ourselves, I mean, more often than not, we are expected to meet expectations without fail, if not exceed them. 

So when we’re around people who don’t have that same mindset, it’s really frustrating. Okay. We’re also very much team players, we wouldn’t have the strongest military in the world, if we weren’t team players, if we weren’t disciplined, if we weren’t real clear about what our roles are to help the mission succeed, right. And so it’s not about me, it’s about we. And in our country, there’s a lot of rugged individualism, if you will. And the other key part of our culture is that tribe is really important to us, you know. Sebastian Junger has written a great book, and if you know anything about him, or don’t know, please go look at some of his videos. And he does a great job of explaining how and let me explain it this way. 

So if you’re used to working around people who dress like you do, who have their resume on their uniform, right? Who have the same physical fitness standards, maybe have the same boss, who knows, maybe live in the same kind of quarters or eat in the same place, certainly have the same value set. Okay, there’s great bonds, great camaraderie, great support, right? And then if you go to combat, wow, those bonds magnify and are like glue. Okay, well, how and where can you reproduce those kinds of bonds in civilian life? 

And no disrespect, you know, maybe in a sorority or fraternity, right? I mean, there’s no comparison, you know, I’m sorry to say, but, you know, in today’s day and age, we live in a very fragmented polarized society where, you know, most neighbors don’t really know each other, okay? It’s very lonely for military people, because we are, we’re people, people, you know, by and large. And we’re used to committing ourselves to bigger, something bigger and better than ourselves, and, and not making it about me. 

I mean, that story about that airman who said, okay, large company, you know, where do you need me to work? You know, I’ll do whatever you need me to do. That’s the kind of attitude that we’re used to being around, and that we’re uncomfortable, if we don’t see that in others. So, you know, following policies and procedures, is very important to our culture, to the military culture to be successful. Knowing how to advance clarity and structure. I mean, again, it’s not burdensome, that makes us successful. 

Okay, when you know, what the rules of engagement are, when you know, what the roadmap is, when you know how to be successful. You know, more and more people can be successful and things are very blurry and very gray more often than not in the civilian workforce. I think that’s a pretty decent overview.

Nicole: I think that’s fantastic. So don’t miss her suggestion. Everybody. It was Sebastian Junger.

Kathy: J u n g e r. Yeah. A civilian who was a reporter over in combat, and yeah, and just really captured the essence of tribe well.

Nicole: Okay. And, again, so while you’re looking up your John Maxwell video to watch, you know, like, turn off the Netflix for a hot second. Watch John, and then watch Sebastian. They both are authors. Did I get that right? I know John’s an author, for sure. 

Kathy: Oh, absolutely. 

Nicole: Yeah, he’s written a boatload of books. 

Kathy: 100 books, I think.

Nicole: Yeah. A bazillion, yes. You got to just buy one to start and then get a collection going. Okay. And so I love what you said. So, bring these veterans into your organization. They have a real sense of tribe. They’re all about building trust and the humility of the leader. Following process and procedure. Now, I just want to pause there for a minute, Kathy, because I don’t know how many leaders I talked to when I go out consulting, coaching, doing my gig like you do your gig. 

And these leaders are like, you know, why don’t people do what I say? You know this and that and the other thing, about accountability is an issue, commitments and issue. So some of the things you really want to see in your organization sounds like a veteran, positioned correctly, not underemployed might just be a little secret sauce.

Kathy: Why wouldn’t a company proactively prioritize veteran hiring and rebuild America one veteran at a time? I mean, I believe that veteran workers are the solution to the talent gap, solution to the workforce of tomorrow. I mean, you know, we’re not, we’re not the answers to everything, certainly. And you know, you know, one veteran, you know, one veteran, we’re not all alike, okay. But we have learned to be adaptable. 

We have learned to, you know, function in, if you will discontinuous dynamic environments, crisis environments. We have to have some understanding of technology. And we’re big-picture focused. I mean, these value sets are, you know, really kind of driven into us over and over and over again, because we’re working for the American taxpayer. And we have a mindset of a zero-fail mission. Isn’t that the kind of people you want on your team?

Nicole: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And, you know, there’s that old thing. You know, I told you at the beginning, that might I don’t know if I said this on the actual podcast, but I’ll say it again. I might be repeating myself people, but my brother was in the 82nd airborne. My dad was also in the military. And, you know, these two fellas, they got a serious work ethic. You know, there’s a, there’s a big joke. We’re at Christmas at my brother’s house one year. 

And so we’re all like, you know, how you do when you’re all young, and you’re 20 and you got your first kids and whatever. We’re all dog-piled in their house on blowup mattresses at Christmas. This is great fun. My dad is, you know, laying on the floor on one of the air mattresses and my brother’s going around checking the doorknobs and making sure. And my dad is laying in bed and he says, as soon as the colonel gets done securing the compound we can all go to bed. You know, and we’ve retold that for 20 years. 

Kathy: That’s good. That’s true. 

Nicole: But my point is, I mean, my brother will always secure the compound. That’s what he’s trained to do. And so if you want a guy who will secure your compound at your company. I mean.

Kathy: That’s wonderful. Yeah, and Nicole, you said earlier, before we started recording that, you know, it’s like, darn, why didn’t I get a chance? Or why didn’t my folks, you know, encourage me to do this, because it is such a wonderful opportunity for men and women. And, you know, it’s just an important thing for all of us to consider doing.

Nicole: Yeah, I think that’s fantastic. Yeah. And you know, and the other thing, too, just, you know, the idea of being in the military, you know, my brother he got in, in college, and he stayed in for a very long time, and then retired, and now he has a whole new career working for Verizon. You know, and he’s still, you know, he was a young man when he started that. And so it’s really cool. And I have a niece, let me just give a plug out for Christopher, if you’re listening. I have a niece named Amanda, and she’s married to Christopher. And what a fantastic guy. This guy is in the National Guard. But then he serves as a police officer. And he’s a good police officer, people. There are good police officers. I promise.

Kathy: Good for you. Yeah. Thank you, Chris. Christopher. Keep up the good work. Yeah. And we call people who are in the guard like citizen soldiers, citizen warriors, you know, they have a military career and a civilian career. And I did that for most of my career as well.

Nicole: Yeah. And the best thing about him is he’s a great husband and a great daddy. So all right, so then the other thing, let’s kind of, let’s do this. You know, there’s a big thing out there. I know I have a lot of Society for Human Resource Manager, folks listening. I’m those are my people. You HR people out there. I love you. And so does Kathy. We both are like you guys are the thing sticking these companies together. Yeah. 

So there’s a big movement out there for DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion. And so one of the diversity things you can think about is this idea of hiring a veteran. But the thing that you kind of ran into in your career was, you told me you work with 85% men your entire life. Okay, now, I think fellas are great. I’m married to one. I love them. Tell me a little bit about being with the guys all the time. What was that like? And what do you have to share for the ladies?

Kathy: So I was in the Air Force my whole career. I spent 29 years, six active, quite a few years in the reserve, but the lion’s share in the guard in the Ohio Air National Guard. And so my first career was nursing. And then my second career was public affairs. And so who was I surrounded by, physicians and pilots. You know, mostly men, right? And if you know anything about their persona, they, put it politely, oftentimes have larger-than-life personalities, right? 

So I would say, you know, growing up as a military kid, my dad was active duty Navy, that, you know, early on, I had to learn how to be comfortable, if you will, as you know, an outsider, the new kid on the block, okay. And to kind of find my way, find my voice and learn how to speak up and lean in. Because I was kind of on my own, you know, before the age of 35, I’d lived in at least 20 different communities in six different countries, right? 

So I was never really I, frankly, my whole life, I’ve never really been surrounded by a, let’s just say a group of sorority sisters. I was never in a sorority, I’ve just kind of done my own thing. Right. And so with that perspective, framework, experience, you know, it’s kind of lonely, I think that’s probably the hardest thing. Because, you know, I had a female pilot friend of mine say, well, you know, when the boys go out to lunch, the boys go out to lunch. 

They’re not looking around to try to invite the women necessarily. And sometimes it was a little tricky. Because if you go out to lunch with just one guy, you don’t want the guy to get the wrong idea. And you know, more often than that, that was you could work through that, but it was safest not to even go there, right.

Nicole: And fellas, you need to follow the Billy Graham rule. Let me tell you what it is real quick. So if you want to take Kathy to lunch, take another person. Just have a witness that it was all about the business, or it’s all about how’s your family, this is how my family is, I care for you, I’m buying you lunch. That’s all that’s about. 

Kathy: That’s beautiful, yeah.

Nicole: And he stayed out of trouble never going to lunch with a person of the opposite sex without a third person.

Kathy: And there’s other simple practices, like, you know, don’t close your door, if it’s one guy and one gal in the room. And, you know, I would say that, you know, my experience was generally very positive. It taught me to, you know, just do my job. And it taught me not to see gender really. It taught me to, you know, speak up when I felt, you know, maybe disrespected a little bit or, you know, I don’t think it was necessarily intentional, but, you know, sometimes men’s styles are a little bit more aggressive than female styles. 

And, you know, you learn how to have thick skin, and to, you know, kind of set boundaries as needed. And so, you know, generally it was a very positive experience, but it was kind of lonely too. And then the additional piece of the rank, you know. I was an officer my whole career, and we are taught quote, unquote, not to fraternize with enlisted people. Now, that culture in the guard and the reserve is very different from being on active duty. 

But, you know, I grew up in an active duty family, spent six years on active duty, and some of these rules of engagements or military customs and courtesies were very well ingrained in my mind about, you know, what’s the best behavior that will facilitate the norms and goals of the organization? And what value should I adhere to? And so, you know, I did my level best to live by our core values and do the right thing. And so, so for women, you know, it can be kind of lonely, frankly.

Nicole: Yeah, yeah. But the thing that screaming in my mind, and the thing that I talk about when, when I talk about building a vibrant culture, is you’re, what you’re really doing is you’re not building this culture thing, what you’re building is like one human at a time. When you have all great humans, and they come together, they do great work. And so it’s, it’s really building the humans. And that’s really what our military does, you know, they go to basic training, this is how we roll. This is how you need to behave. These are the rules of engagement, whatever. 

I’ve not been there, but that’s what we do. And then like you have, we were just talking about Christopher. We have 20 Christophers, that’s a beautiful culture. Now, they’re not all brainwashed. They’ve got opinions, ideas, different styles. You know, but at the heart of it, which is you a question we talked about was what makes veterans great workers, what I’m going to add, I want you to answer it, you kind of have. But like, what’s screaming in my mind is like, these are men and women of amazing character.

Kathy: Aww. Thank you. And you know, and character is the foundation, character and integrity are the foundation of leadership, right? 

Nicole: 100%.

Kathy: Yes, ma’am. And military members are also great workers because it’s not about us and they have a servant leadership approach. We are taught early on to develop our subordinates, to develop the people behind us or below us, right? Why? Well, because we used to say you can get hit by a bus tomorrow and not be here. But the truth is, if you go to combat and we lose you, somebody has to step in immediately, and take up the charge, right? So we have, we have a bench, where we try hard to have a bench of people that are ready to go and as part of our legacy. 

And so we’re about team players, we’re about developing others, of course, we know how to meet expectations, if not exceed them. We, our integrity is first and foremost in our mind. Show up on time. I mentioned tech savvy. We know how to deal with crisis, we’re adaptable and flexible. So I think that’s a good description of some of our major things. And, and we also have soft skills, right? You know, again, that drill sergeant image does not speak to soft skills, but how are you a good team player? You’re a good team player, when you know how to connect with other people. And you build trust, right? 

So that comes with soft skills, even though you may have a rough outer core, right. And this the other thing I think is important to mention is that we’re used to receiving feedback, okay? So if that rough outer core needs to be softened a little bit or polished, get into it, have a conversation, that veteran will respond well, because they want to succeed. They want to, you know, be a team player, and they want to do what’s right. So don’t be intimidated by not having that, and not have that conversation, because you’ll both lose if you don’t, potentially.

Nicole: That’s right. That’s right. So I know what you all are thinking okay, Nicole. Okay Kathy. Okay, okay, okay. We’re gonna get some veterans working in here. We’ve done our job. Now, here’s the thing. If you’re like, Well, how do I do that? So Kathy, is the author of a book called Beyond Thank You For Your Service. So I don’t know if you meet veterans, or you see young men in airports, in their camouflage or whatever. And you say thank you for your service. That’s fantastic. But Kathy, saying, let’s take it to a whole new level in this book. So Kathy, will this book guide us towards understanding everything we’re talking about today? How will this book help us? So is that what we need to do and where do we buy it?

Kathy: It’s available on Amazon. And it’s, frankly, a good overview for anyone in society. Be it an employer, a doctor, a lawyer, a leader of a community, a clergy member, or an educator. There are practical tips for everybody from all different standpoints in life, to help you know how to go beyond thank you for your service. One of the chapters focuses in on employers, and we talk about you know, where to find veteran talent, how to interview veteran talent, and then some retention tactics that work. One of the most powerful retention tactics, let’s say you’re a pretty well, any size company, if you are engaged and involved outside your company, in supporting veteran community causes, number one, it’s a retention tactic for your current veteran staff. 

But number two, it’s building your brand out in the community. So I mean, that might be surprising to people. But for larger companies consider aligning your corporate citizenship, your D E and I, in the veteran space, of course, having some sort of veteran employee resource group, and or committee. If you’re not a larger company, have some way to organize your veteran employees so that they build camaraderie. 

They offer peer support, peer mentorship, and you can get involved in being part of your recruiting team either going to recruiting events with you, or helping you interview, helping you look at those resumes, and or being outside your company and connecting with other military people. Because you know, who’s going to have a stronger connection immediately, you know, veteran, the veteran. We speak the same language. And, you know, we’re typically straight shooters about what we think is important. 

So if you have any other questions about, you know how to make your workforce more productive by hiring and leveraging their skill sets, I hope you will consider joining my Veteran Talent Academy. I offer a couple of courses a year, and if you would join my Facebook or LinkedIn groups, I would appreciate it. It’s Vanguard Veteran, that way you’ll be aware of what’s coming up next.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. But it’s the top of the hour. We got to bring this thing to a close. So I want one, somebody out there’s going one nugget, Kathy. Give us one more nugget before we go. Give me your last nugget.

Kathy: I invite you to join the veteran champion movement and be a part of the win. The best thing you can do is to be on the lookout for veterans in your community who are transitioning home. Not only does the person who’s been in uniform, but also their family welcomes and appreciates connections to local communities, because they feel disconnected. Often I heard one, one person say that when they were transitioning out of military service, it felt like they were in a foreign country with a foreign land, a foreign language and a foreign culture. 

Isn’t that tragic, that those who protect and defend our freedom, who offer so much, feel oftentimes very lost when they come back to civilian life. Open up your little black book, give them contacts, include them in your, in your community, in your groups, and get to know them as individuals and help them out and go beyond saying thank you for your service. Ask what you can do, and do it. Follow through, act on their needs and support them.

Nicole: Oh, that’s fantastic. All right, everybody. That’s been another episode of Build a Vibrant Culture. I am Nicole Greer. I have had the delight and pleasure of being with retired Lieutenant Colonel Kathy Gallowitz, who is the author of, write this down, Beyond Thank You For Your Service. You can find it on Amazon and one more time, Kathy. Tell us your website address. Everybody go over there, click around see how you can help.

Kathy: My email is Kathy with a If there’s anything I can do for you, please reach out. I’d love to be a speaker and or help you become that employer veteran champion. Nicole, this has been delightful. I appreciate you. And you truly are, ma’am, very vibrant.

Nicole: Oh, well, I appreciate it. All right, everybody. Please like and subscribe and we will see you next time on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. Thanks so much for listening.

Leave a Comment



arrow right down

Name the challenge you're facing in your culture, and I will help you solve it.

From executive coaching, culture-shifting workshops, or long-term partnerships, my work is to help you develop your next leaders.

I was fortunate to learn this early from an exceptional leader. She took an eager, overconfident new hire and developed me into a capable leader.

I went on to lead marketing & training for 80+ sites across the U.S. Later, I went out and got almost every credential in leadership development you’ve heard of. (see the list)

Since that time, I’ve joined organizations in almost every industry to build VIBRANT CULTURES where employees take initiative and true ownership in their work.

Let’s build your leadership development strategy together.



I'm really interested in...
(select all that apply)*