Regardless of how your path led you to William & Mary, we are glad you have chosen this university to be your alma mater. As a new member of our community with different transition concerns and needs, we encourage you to become familiar with these online resources before arriving on campus:
Office of Student Veteran Engagement
The Office of Student Veteran Engagement supports veteran student organizations; connects veterans with resources on- and off-campus to help with applications, GI Bill benefits, transferability of courses and other support services; and assists in finding for-credit internship and post-graduation employment opportunities.
Military & Veterans at William & Mary
The Military & Veterans website provides several layers of resources dependent on your status within the community: from prospective to alumni!
While the Prospective Students page includes valuable Transfer Credit Evaluation information, the Current Students site includes information on Student Accessibility Services and various benefit/tuition assistance resources.
Military and Veteran Student Registrar Services
The Office of the University Registrar coordinates various Military and Veteran Student services from priority registration to domicile reconciliation. [[caward01, Carolyn Ward]] serves as the W&M Veterans Benefits Officer.
Student Veterans of William & Mary
This recognized student organization serves to connect with and advocate for student veterans at W&M and across the greater military community. Their landing page can be viewed by the public.
However, to learn more about the organization, its leadership and activities, you will need to log into TribeLink using your W&M credentials. Lucky for you, setting up your TribeLink account is also on your Tribe Guide Checklist.
Some of the afore-mentioned services will be discussed at length during your January orientation. However, these are solid pages to bookmark for future reference.
Veterans have not only honorably served our country, but many also serve a valuable role in our economy. There is approximately one veteran-owned firm for every 10 veterans, and veteran-owned companies employ approximately 5.8 million Americans, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
“The military excels at teaching transferable ‘soft’ skills of critical thinking and multitasking, teamwork and leadership, integrity and motivation, among others,” said Edward Slavis, a former U.S. Marine infantry officer who served in Iraq. “I apply these skills to my real estate business, but they could be employed in any field.”
For vets who are transitioning from military service to the world of entrepreneurship, there is a plethora of resources, including free training, education, funding and networking events, to help ensure their new venture is successful.
Here is a list of the basic steps for starting your business, along with links to resources that will help veteran entrepreneurs every step of the way.
What do RE/MAX, FedEx, Walmart and GoDaddy have in common? They’re all businesses founded by military veterans. Many successful veteran entrepreneurs attribute their business success to their military experience, and part of that success involves teasing out a viable business idea.
For Dave Liniger, founder of RE/MAX, the military gave him the maturity and confidence to meet the realities of starting a company.
“The military really gave me the chance to grow up,” he said. “It also taught me self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.”
Sometimes military experience translates directly into the business world. Marc Alacqua, Steve Davis, and Altaf Bahora took the same type of technology that they used in intelligence for special operations forces in Afghanistan to build a data fusion and content analytics tool. The company they founded, Signafire, counts JP Morgan, Chase, Major League Soccer and Blackberry among its clients.
Natalie Oliverio founded Military Talent Partners, which connects employers with veteran job candidates. Tony Weedn built the app BaseConnect, a military-only social network.
Small business owners across the country have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, and veteran-owned businesses haven’t been immune. When the virus hit the U.S. in large numbers in March 2020, cities across the country went into lockdown, forcing millions of businesses to temporarily close. Many never reopened. Businesses that did had to adhere to new social distancing rules, which added to their operational costs, and they had to contend with less traffic. The pain has been particularly pronounced for restaurants, bars, gyms and other consumer-facing enterprises.
The federal government has taken steps to help struggling small business owners, signing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act into law in March 2020. Through that multitrillion-dollar aid package, small business owners, including veterans, got access to forgivable and low-interest rate loans. The Paycheck Protection Program, which is now in round two, has proven to be a lifeline for small business owners. Business owners have been offered forgivable loans if the proceeds go to keep staff on the payroll. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans have provided business owners with low interest rate loans they have 30 years to pay back.
With the vaccine starting to roll out and expectations that the virus will be more contained by the spring or summer of 2021, the government, under President Joe Biden, is working on another aid package that includes more help to small business owners, including veteran-owned ones. (At the time this article was published, the U.S. House had passed the stimulus bill, and the bill was on its way to the Senate.)
After you feel you’ve got a feasible idea for a business, it’s time to start creating your road map to success.
Business plans outline your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. You’ll need a business plan if you want to get a loan or attract investors. Private banks, venture capitalists and other lenders will want to know you’ve thought through every aspect of your future business growth.
Whether you’re bootstrapping or seeking funding sources, writing a business plan is the best way to get your thoughts and plan of attack into a clear and concise document that can evolve over time. Here are some resources to help:
Veterans have more incentives and funding options available to them than civilian entrepreneurs. Below are some different types of funding sources. Some, though not all, are specifically for veterans.
With crowdfunding, you’re receiving investments from individuals who are donating to your business – you are not securing debt in the form of a loan – so, you’re not usually required to pay the money back.
Mike Kim, a U.S. Army veteran, used Kickstarter to launch KPOP Foods. He and his co-founder set a $10,000 investment goal for their flagship product KPOP Korean Chili Sauce. They blew past it, reaching $10,000 in eight hours. In total, they received $37,627 in pledges from 1,219 backers.
Kim says his experience as an Army project manager in Southern Afghanistan taught him resourcefulness and a can-do attitude.
“Launching my own business, I never tell myself I can’t accomplish a task,” he said. “I ask myself instead how I’m going to accomplish a task. Doing this over and over again, you’ll be surprised at your own resourcefulness and creativity.”
Here are some resources for making crowdfunding work for your small business startup:
Venture capital firms provide investment dollars for your startup business in exchange for partial control, equity and/or a seat on the board of your company. Some of these firms work exclusively with veteran entrepreneurs. Here are some investment options for veteran entrepreneurs:
Private loans for veterans are also a good option for veteran entrepreneurs. Here are two resources to look into:
Unlike funding from a private bank, grants aren’t loans, and you’re not required to pay them back. Here are some veteran-specific resources for both private loans and federal grant funding:
If starting a business from scratch seems overwhelming, consider buying a franchise. When you buy into a franchise, you get upfront guidance from the franchisor and begin your career owning a business with an already well-established brand.
Jeff Allen, an Army helicopter pilot and current franchise owner, had just transitioned to a public affairs job at the Pentagon when a life-changing event altered his perspective.
“On September 11, 2001, I was sitting at my desk when the Pentagon was attacked,” Allen remembers. “My team survived, and while I did take a brief hiatus, I ended up returning to active duty for another 10 years once the war started.”
When he finally did retire, Allen looked for a franchising opportunity that matched the mission he’d chosen for his life.
“Protecting people is in my DNA, and I took that with me when it came time to start my own business,” he said. “I chose to open Dryer Vent Wizard of Middle Tennessee, a business that helps prevent dryer fires through regular maintenance and inspections.”
Allen saved money during his time in the military so that he could be an entrepreneur after retiring from active duty. When it comes to choosing a franchise, here’s his advice: “You have to find the business that fits you and your lifestyle best.”
The International Franchise Association Foundation’s VetFran program helps veterans find training and partnership opportunities with franchise companies.
Here are some other resources for starting a franchise:
As a veteran, you’re already familiar with the federal government. You can continue this relationship as a veteran business owner by becoming a registered government contractor.
The General Services Administration oversees contracts for the federal government and considers veteran-owned business for contracts before other civilian contractors.
The veterans-first policy levels the playing field for veteran-owned small businesses that are bidding against larger firms. Securing a government contract means steady work. Here are some resources to help you do business with the government.
Aside from financing your business, the biggest investment you’ll make as an entrepreneur will be in your knowledge and skills. Entrepreneurship requires a broad skill set, such as accounting basics and interviewing skills.
The GI Bill has helped cover all or some of the costs of higher education for millions of vets, which is good because education isn’t cheap.
Chris Rawlings is a former Marine who did two tours of duty in Iraq. He’s now the owner of Veteran LED, a lighting and energy design company. Rawlings invested in his education after leaving the military, attending the Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans at Florida State University.
“In addition to the education it provided, I tapped into such specialty providers as legal services, marketing and website design,” said Rawlings. “Those resources helped keep me from feeling overwhelmed about parts of my business that required specialized training.”
Here’s information about that program and others where veterans can learn important business skills:
Veterans are a tight-knit group, and professional connections in the business world are just as important as they are in the military. There are plenty of organizations, both nonprofit and paid, that work with veterans to connect them with business professionals and mentors.
Paul Dillon, a U.S. Army Reserve first lieutenant and service-disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, helped pioneer one of them. Dillon, who retired from consulting in 2006, started a second career helping veterans start their own business.
“My business didn’t start out with the idea of helping veterans,” said Dillon. “I started out thinking that I was going to provide project management and business development services, but that didn’t work out. I had to pivot several times before I found a niche that worked.”
He was the creator of the concept for a business incubator in Chicago, which eventually became Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit that assists veteran entrepreneurs.
Here are some other resources to connect veterans with partners in the business world:
There are educational and financial resources specific to service-disabled veteran business owners, including Veterans Affairs (VA) grants and free comprehensive business programs at major universities. Here are a few resources to help service-disabled veterans get their business going:
Starting a business is a challenge, but just like in the military, you can rely on the advice and support of other service members. Contact the organizations listed in this guide, and you’ll see the passion and expertise of people devoting their lives to helping veteran entrepreneurs. You’ll know that you aren’t fighting this mission alone.
Donna Fuscaldo contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
Photo credit: UN Photo/UN792337
Governments can report their annual military spending to the United Nations. This may increase confidence among States within regions and beyond.
Over the past century, governments have sought ways to reach a global agreement on reductions in military expenditures. Various proposals were discussed in the League of Nations, and later in the UN. Early proposals in the UN focused on reducing the expenditures of States with large militaries, and on freeing up funds for development aid.
Proposals for cutting military spending did not materialize. However, they led to the development of the UN Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures in 1981—later renamed United Nations Report on Military Expenditures (MilEx)—under which countries are encouraged to report on their military expenditures.
The original goal of MilEx—to facilitate reduction of military expenditures—gradually gave way to another important goal: to increase transparency and build confidence among States. If States submit reports every year, MilEx will provide insight on military spending patterns and contribute to increased international trust and security.
Sharing information on military expenditures is important for increasing trust between governments in all parts of the world. But having this information available is only the first step in confidence-building. As a follow-up measure, authorities from different countries may meet and discuss their respective military expenditures, e.g. within their regional contexts. UNODA stands ready to assist regional organizations in making such confidence-building talks a reality.
Transparency in military matters is important in all parts of the world. States coming out of conflict and their neighbours and States in regions perceived to have high levels of military spending are among those that may benefit particularly from using the UN Report on Military Expenditures. For countries where defence sector reform is planned, reporting current military spending by category of expenditure may provide a baseline assessment of present priorities, which can constitute a sensible and transparent start of the reform process.
Reporting to the UN Report on Military Expenditures can only be done by governments.
States with no military expenditures may submit a “nil report”. Other states can use either a standardized reporting form, a simplified reporting form, or a “single-figure” form.
UNODA stands ready to assist States with their national reports. We also work with regional organizations – upon request – on organising military confidence-building activities.
© TASS, Russian news agency (The Mass Media Registration Certificate No. 03247 was issued on April 2, 1999 by the State Press Committees of the Russian Federation). Some publications may contain information not suitable for users under 16 years of age.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Military veterans at immediate risk of suicide will no longer have to depend solely on Veterans Affairs facilities to seek emergency health care.
A new VA program that started Tuesday allows veterans in "suicidal crisis" to also receive help at civilian hospitals, emergency rooms or other mental health facilities.
According to a VA release issued last week, the additional care includes inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days.
Veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA system to use this benefit.
The agency says that the new program will increase access to acute suicide care for up to 9 million veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA.
Ben Kremer, manager of suicide prevention for the VA's eastern Colorado region, defines "suicidal crisis."
"It could be someone who has either already acted on something, is about to act on something, or has a history to think we need to treat this as an emergency situation," he explains.
Kremer says that the program allows the agency to take a more active role in suicide prevention among veterans, by lessening confusion, frustration and stress about whether they qualify and how much the program will cost them.
VA uses calls to suicide prevention hotlines and emergency room visits to estimate how many veterans may be considered in suicidal crisis; Kremer says that the region had nearly 4,000 hotline calls alone last year -- ranking third nationally.
"And around a fifth of those calls require a welfare check (by first responders)," he reveals. "So that's where veterans in suicidal crisis are most likely to come from."
Bob McLaughlin, executive director of the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, in Colorado Springs, says that the program is another option in what's already a good variety of care choices available.
"Unfortunately, in many cases, if care is hard to get, veterans will spiral," he says. "So, our motto here at Mt. Carmel is to make it easy, to work with VA and to be good partners. It'll save lives."
The program is the latest step in a series of initiatives by VA and the Biden Administration to prioritize the prevention of suicide among veterans.
An annual VA report on the subject released last year revealed that suicides decreased in 2020 for the second straight year, to the fewest since 2006; meanwhile, El Paso recorded a decline of nearly 10% in veteran suicides.
"We know that more and more people are finding themselves in crisis," Kremer says. "And they're utilizing at least one aspect of crisis support. The stigma of talking about suicide seems to be lessening, as well -- and that certainly helps when people are willing to talk about it and ask hard questions."
For more information, visit: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/includes/viewPDF.cfm?id=5852.
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) - Gulf Coast State College is home to a new and improved resource center for military personnel.
The new building is replacing the previous out-of-date center.
“It was next to nothing," veteran and Gulf Coast student Malcolm Fisk said. "It was basically a computer lab with a whiteboard and it was a small room basically. Where here, we got the whole building.”
Construction on the new facility started more than five years ago, but was delayed by both Hurricane Michael and COVID-19.
Fisk said the additional space and resources will help bring the military community at the college together.
“I think moving forward this facility will probably help us to make more things happen as a group gets veterans together," Fisk said. "And help us to communicate with each other and, you know, build a better future for everybody.”
Officials said they hope the new facility will make the college more military-friendly.
In addition to being a private study area, it will be equipped with all-new computers, a kitchen, and a private conference area.
The center also has resource information about scholarships and other programs benefitting veterans.
“We hope that we can attract and support and educate many, many more members of our military, particularly as Tyndall continues to grow,” Chairman of Golf Coast State College's Board of Trustees Bill Cramer said.
Officials said the facility’s intent is to provide a one-stop shop for veterans.
“For our active duty veterans and dependent students to provide a place for them to come to not just to socialize, but to also learn about all of the programs that are available for them here at the college and at,” Cramer said.
The facility is located on the east end of the campus, in the old WKGC radio station.Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become key priorities in the workplace, especially when it comes to race and gender issues. Oftentimes, however, when it comes to hiring and working with teams that include employees in the military, some department managers are unempathetic or uneducated about how to create a positive, supportive work environment for the staff members contributing to their team while also serving their country.
How can managers and teams learn to communicate and collaborate more effectively with a direct report or co-worker who is also a dedicated military reservist? Below are six members from Forbes Human Resources Council sharing their top tips.
Leaders can best support military reservists by getting organized and having a plan in place before the reservist is called to duty. Ask new employees if they are a reservist. Stay in regular contact so you have a clear idea of their day-to-day responsibilities. We all rely on reservists in times of crisis. Be proud of your reservist employees and do all you can to support their success on the job! - Niki Ramirez, HRAnswers.org
Understand and value service members and military spouses. Establish hiring and leave policies conducive to service members' obligations. Create a veteran resource group. Enable military spouse career mobility with remote work options. - Britton Bloch, Navy Federal
Establish respectful, clear and simple lines of communication. Having a reservist will require managing weekend training, annual leaves and potentially long-term deployments. Make sure managers aren’t offering negative responses when reservists share scheduling needs or it could backfire with the individual avoiding clear communication of those needs. Employers in the U.S. are required by law under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act to protect employment in these cases. - Lisa Shuster, iHire
Forbes Human Resources Council is an invitation-only organization for HR executives across all industries. Do I qualify?
I think the most critical thing an employer can do is not assume. This is why diversity, equity and inclusion in employee resource groups are critical. It is essential that an organization finds out what employees need individually and then builds a communication strategy that can connect and meet as many of those employees' needs as possible. - Nakisha Griffin, Neustar Security Services
No matter the work model, cultivating positive work relationships is imperative. Develop friendly work relationships that can turn into a strong support network when navigating office politics. Forming personal relationships can be a challenge in a remote setting, but it can be done. Remote work also puts focus on substance over style, which benefits strong performers. - Niki Jorgensen, Insperity
With the accurate popularity of remote work and advances in video conferencing software, collaborating with military reservists shouldn’t prove any more challenging than with other fully remote employees. Managers should be sensitive to reservists’ military responsibilities that take precedence over company assignments, and teammates can benefit from the unique perspective they bring to projects. - John Feldmann, Insperity
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Veterans supporting veterans. It’s a goal for Gulf Coast State College as they work towards better supporting their active-duty and veteran students.
Today, the college held an open house for their new Military & Veteran Resource Center, which will provide services to military personnel, veterans, and their families. More than 200 veterans attend GCSC, which is part of why school staff is so excited to get the doors open after five years of development.
“It shows that the college is committed to the veterans and the military. It means a lot to our student veterans - it shows that ‘hey we do care’ - because sometimes they can feel that their service wasn’t appreciated,” said David Jantzen, a Coordinator for Veteran Services.
The center will provide students access to counseling, academic advising, and assistance with the GI bill and military benefits. It will also allow students to study together in common areas, get help with classes, and become better equipped to transition from service back to the classroom.
“When a veteran transitions from active duty into civilian life it can be difficult for some, so this is a place for veterans and even their dependents to get together and talk. Veterans, some of them may have difficulties for certain classes, so they can get help. Computer skills: one may be very proficient with computers, so they may sit down and work with another veteran, so it’s what we call veterans helping veterans,” said Jantzen.
“I feel like previously, while I got along with all the veterans and active-duty personnel that are here, it was pretty limited to the faces that you’d see - maybe up to 10 or so at a time. Where I think with a facility like this; it’ll encourage us to get together more often and also for everyone to be more aware of things they can take advantage of,” veteran and student Malcolm Fisk said.
That sense of community is something that GCSC Interim President, Cheryl Flax-Hyman, is eager to see come to fruition.
“We are so excited to open our Military and Veteran Resource Center. This will be a place for our students to come, their families to come, to get all kinds of support, to study, to know they have a home away from home,” said Flax-Hyman.
Officials expect to open its doors to the students later this semester. You can find more about Gulf Coast State College - including enrollment information - on their website.
Copyright 2023 WJHG. All rights reserved.
The Out of Uniform video series focuses on views from the homefront and changing military life. This installment shines the spotlight on programs offered by the Military Child Education Coalition. You can hear other episodes by clicking the hyperlinks on the episode numbers below.
Other parts of our series include:
Episode 1: This installment highlights issues that military families face, including moving, deployments, family changes and more.
Episode 2: The Exceptional Family Member Program provides support for military family members with special needs.
Episode 3: The Dog Tag Fellowship Program offers a path to civilian employment.
Episode 4: K9s for Warriors pairs veterans and four-legged helpers.
Episode 5: A Georgia career transition center opens doors for veterans.
Episode 6: An organization helps veterans serve their communities.
Episode 7: A documentary tells the story of one couple’s journey during the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era.