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Celebrating National Hire a Veteran Day: The value of putting military skills to use in the civilian world

On National Hire a Veteran Day and every day, Piedmont takes pride in hiring military veterans. Veterans obtain highly specialized training in the military where they gain transferable skills that benefit civilian employers. Piedmont values our team members who have served in the armed forces and for the discipline and unique skill set they bring to our organization. As a company, we recruit current and retired servicemen and women and we strive to make an impact with veteran outreach through our Veterans Military Employee Business Resource Group.

As veterans themselves, recruiters Chris Reese and Bobbie Wyatt know first-hand what it means to work in the military and then transition to civilian life. Their military experience is instrumental in attracting future talent, including veterans to join Piedmont Airlines.

Chris Reese served 22-years in the Army as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot and wanted to pursue an aviation career after his military retirement but no longer had the desire to fly. He wasn’t sure how his skills could benefit others in the civilian world outside of the flight deck until he learned about becoming a pilot recruiter. With this opportunity he used his personal military experience to help others succeed on their path to the commercial flight deck.

“As a pilot recruiter, hiring veterans is important to me,” says Chris. “Military veterans bring a wealth of skills and knowledge to the table. Veterans are already  trained in many of skills employers are seeking. The value systems of an airline and the military align when it comes to safety, integrity, work ethic and working well individually and as part of a larger team.”

Piedmont’s goal of creating a diverse and inclusive culture is synonymous with the military. “People leave the small towns they grow up in from all corners of the country to join the armed forces,” says Chris. “We learned how to work with others from different cultures and backgrounds and when we hire veterans, those skills contribute to Piedmont’s mission to create a diverse, inclusive work environment.”

Recruiting Specialist, Bobbie Wyatt is a 20-year United States Air Force veteran, who currently specializes in Maintenance and Corporate recruiting. With her background, she brings a wealth of recruiting experience as a former personnelist in the military dedicated to finding the right candidates to fill the right roles.

“My role at Piedmont is similar to what I did in the military working with maintenance professionals  and pilots,” shares Bobbie. “Working for an airline is a lot like the military when it comes to the comradery. They both also require the same discipline and accountability to accomplish the goal.”

Bobbie believes hiring veterans is important because it gives Piedmont confidence knowing they are hiring disciplined individuals who are taught at an early rank the importance of accountability, leadership and communication. “Not everyone has those skills, but veterans do.”

Through working with various non-profits, advertising in military publications and attending virtual and in-person career fairs, Piedmont is engaged with recruiting  veterans. Chris and Bobbie connect with their military networks to share the opportunities at Piedmont and attend events like the Rotary to Airline Group (RTAG) convention and Recruit Military events. After veterans join the organization, they are encouraged to join the Veterans/Military Employee Resource Group (ERG) community where a safe space is provided for impactful discussion and support. In addition, the ERG provides valuable resources are offered to our military members, families and allies.

“Don’t waste the skills you have gained in the military, use them to successfully contribute in the civilian world,” promotes Bobbie.

Interested in learning more about job opportunities at Piedmont after separation from the military? For pilot careers, contact our Pilot Recruiting team to find out what is needed to become a commercial pilot or explore all career opportunities here.