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Turning Combat Experience into a Global Business

Turning Combat Experience
Turning Combat Experience

Turning Combat Experience into a global business, In a fast-paced combat zone, veterans learn to lead their teams and make split-second decisions in the face of enormous complexity and ambiguity. More than 1.5 million of these vets who served in Afghanistan and Iraq have re-entered the civilian world so far, and another 1 million will be joining them over the next few years as budget cuts shrink the US military. Women also make up a considerable portion of the Vets. As Gayle Tzemach Lemmon mentioned in her book “Ashley’s War women have fought on the front lines as combat pilots and military police platoon leaders. Some have been joining special operations forces on combat missions.”

Turning Combat Experience

For companies conducting business internationally, hiring a veteran with his/her past training and current qualities would be ideal for turning combat experience for the following three reasons:

  • They can manage the complexity of a constantly changing global marketplace and deal with regulatory issues, complicated business practices, commercial and economic risks, and even political barriers.
  • They can spot opportunities ahead of time and act upon them, even without having complete data on-hand and in the face of uncertainty. They are also equipped with the ability to be flexible enough to change their plans as needed.
  • They can navigate the conflicting demands of both local and global customers, and they would be able to introduce new products/services and build bridges between religions, languages and cultures easily.                              

Veterans are good fit for entrepreneurship

The connection between the military and entrepreneurship has been noticed by those trying to promote entrepreneurial activity. Veteran-owned businesses account for 14.8 percent of US small businesses, 22 percent of veterans purchase or start businesses and many programs support their efforts.                     

At first glance, the structured life of the military and the freewheeling life of the entrepreneur do not seem to have much in common. When looking back in history, though, you can find successful entrepreneurs who had military backgrounds. For example Robert A. McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gamble was nominated by President Obama as the next secretary of Veterans Affairs. McDonald, 61, retired from P&G in June 2013, has served in the US Army for five years in the 1970s, and was a captain in the 82nd Airborne Division. 

Robert A. McDonald has taken over the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs. He commanded soldiers, ran one of the world’s largest consumer-focused corporations, and now faces the daunting task of fixing an arm of the US government that critics say is among the most corrupt in American history. 

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Waqar Akram

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