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retention + hiring military vets

Discussion in 'Employment' started by americanlawn, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Banksy

    Banksy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    In the past, I have worked for a landscape company, garbage truck driver, and other small businesses. Those companies were great for a needed JOB at the time. When something else with more pay or better hours came up, I would jump ship. There is a difference between a JOB and a CAREER. I've been in my career choice now for nearly 13 years. I do a little landscaping on the side and have not figured out yet how I can grow that and manage the rest of life too. So for now I will just do the little bit of lawn service that I do because I enjoy it. However, I do not know why :laugh:. Maybe it's the self satisfaction to see a job well done and a satisfied customers compliments?

    I think these military guys do not last long because they want to feel like what they do for work will take them somewhere or has a greater purpose than a paycheck. How much room is there for promotion or raises with a small landscape biz? I appreciated the jobs I had over the years but I was never going to go anywhere within those companies. I was a laborer, period. I would hope that these military guys have higher aspirations than just running a mower for someone else for the rest of their lives. What most are seeing when they apply to your company is a needed JOB for the time to get life started.

    Now that I am "the boss" of the little lawn work that I do, I feel there is a greater purpose to it. I would not expect somebody I hire later to feel the same purpose for the work that I do.
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,751

    Supply clerk? 92 Y?
    MY supply clerk for a few years back at Bragg was a Somali vet.
    a 92Y that humped an m249 SAW through 24 hours of nightmare combat.
    People gave him crap about his ranger scroll on his shoulder because he's a unit supply specialist, how could he get a ranger scroll?
    Uhhh that's because he went to combat with the unit he was assigned to, 75th Ranger.
    IF you are assigned to a light infantry unit and deployed like that…it doesn't matter if your job is toe nail picker…you better shoot straight if you expect to come home, because you aren't making coffee.
    Heavy units, like big red one, 2nd Armor, 7th Cav all have a 'posse' in tow. Light infantry deploys faster than that posse can mobilize, in the case of 82nd/Rangers (airborne) that's ANYwhere in the world in 18 hours or less.
    so for a line unit with an Brigade HQ sitting on Ardennes Rd, your 92 Y, Unit armorer, lead medic and commo jerk ALL go with you.
    In the old days your air force liaison/ forward air controller, went with too, now they deploy separately.

    So it depends entirely on WHICH commo guy, which supply guy and which armorer we are talking about. Not necessarily what your job was.
    My mess sergeant Also did combat with Ranger Batt.
    6'3" Big black guy, wall of muscle, 52 inch chest, 32 inch waist, arms tat would rip a Tshirt if he inhaled too deeply…tower of power on his left shoulder (airborne, ranger, special forces) and a ranger scroll on the right.
    try getting an extra banana out of that guy, it wasn't going to happen!
    Was he an S-bag because he was a cook?
  3. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Messages: 5,957

    Government uses them like disposable dogs.

    All the meds and injections they have to be shot up with affect them very badly.

    PTSD is the most common scenario and this sh!t Gov. could care less about their treatment or helping them.

    They want the best of the stock to disappear so they can bring in other nationalities from other countries to replace true Americans which they succeeded in doing, via eliminating them in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  4. SlowMow

    SlowMow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I know I almost started my own business just before I decided to join the Army. My primary reason being that when I joined the economy was very poor and didn't want to take the risk of not having a steady paycheck to support my wife and children. SO here I am, 4 years in, another 2 years on my contract and looking to either find a reputable company up here in the Pacific Northwest to work for or starting up on my own. I worked for another gentleman before I joined and decided that I really enjoy the line of work. I have a great work ethic and would have a tremendous amount of references to back that up. Anyone have advice on if I should start my own or is there anyone on here that would consider hiring me? I could work weekends before getting out for free somewhat like an internship to either learn the ropes again or even just to prove myself to be the lead person on a team? Any advice or connections would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,751

    Pacific Northwest?

    Try getting a job with Teufel Nursery, If you're currently stationed where I think you are (Tacoma?) They are right there in town.
  6. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,015

    You didn't hire any Marines, that's your problem!

    Ha ha, seriously though, I had an Air Force veteran that was in for 8 years got out about 5 years ago so not that long ago. He worked for me for 6 months (not doing landscaping/maintenance), but at my full time job. I changed guys schedules around to give him the "prime hours", gave him time off 1 week at a time 2 different times even though it was unpaid, he had no accrued time off but I said he could go take care of what he needed to do. Wouldn't you know he never showed back up to work after the last week off! No call, no explanation, nothing!

    I can say that just because a guy was in the military doesn't make him great and clean and dependable. I'm more apt to hire a veteran because I'm one myself, but I have seen several just flake out. A lot of veterans are hard working, trustworthy, honest etc. However, I run across some who are a-holes even though I've helped them by giving them work after they are essentially pleading for a job because they can't find one. Just to be crapped on by them.

    Now all types of people have, and will do the same thing, not just veterans. I'm starting to have a lot more rigorous interview period and questions for veterans that apply rather then just handing them the job like I have in the past. Live and learn I call it. It's just like society as a whole, peoples ethics and sense of truthfulness to themselves and others has changed drastically over time. That goes for everyone veterans or not and you're seeing it first hand as well.
  7. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,015

    Just read this after posing above. Spot on! I can totally agree with that.
  8. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    Not all Air Force Veterans are like that...lol obviously. Nah man I'm an Air Force Vet; 6 years active duty. I like to say my career field was the step children in the Air Force because we actually worked; but you're right; a lot of them aren't workers at all.
  9. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 753

    Because a Vet can make more on unemployment/disability than working lawn care. Nowadays everyone has "PTSD" because it's compensible through the VA and it's impossible to disprove.

    Being that im a Vet, I tried to hire vets 2 years ago. They'd call just to comply with the workforce commission so they could get unemployment, but they were not even remotely interested in actually working.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,012

    The VA does disprove PTSD. They sit you down infront of a shrink and go through your post deployment papers you have to fill out. They read what you wrote, then give you a rating. Two questions on the paper are

    1. Have you seen any enemy KIA
    2. Have you seen any friendly KIA

    If you answer no, but claim you got shot at once, and can somehow convice them you have PTSD, they MAY give you a 10% rating. Any rating the VA gives you does not last forever. My papers say I am subject to check ups and re-evals.

    Vets are not the "superman" to a company. Ask a vet how many times they were NJP'd. Or ask any Marine if they got a Good Conduct Medal. Ask to see their DD-214, this will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about them.

    Rank plays a large part. Look at their DD-214 to see what rank they were when they got out. Based off Marine Corps rank structure

    E-1 Private after 4 years- Don't hire
    E-2 Private First Class PFC after 4 years- Don't hire
    E-3 Lance Corporal after 4 years- possible hire, but do an extensive interview
    E-4 Corporal after 4 years- hire
    E-5 Sargeant after 4 years- hire

    If they claim they were a rank higher than E-5 in 4 years, they are lying to you....it's impossible.

    I was honorably discharged as a Marine Corps Sargeant back in 2007. I did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was awarded a Purple Heart on my 22nd birthday. I was used to mentoring, training, and leading Marines in combat and training for combat. When I got out and got a job, I started as a route supervisor for a family owned company (not lawn/landscape related). With what I was used to, I didn't plan to stick around long if I didn't get promoted- like Banksy said- I wanted a career, not a job. Many of these guys feel the same way.

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