Ross Brown

By Ross Brown
Head of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Head of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Honoring Our Veterans

As an Officer in the U.S. Army for nearly three decades, I saw some incredible triumphs of the human spirit and a consistent willingness of service members to put their lives in jeopardy for their fellow soldiers and the security of our country. Since leaving government, I have chosen a path that allows me to support my fellow veterans as they transition back to civilian life.

I believe that every veteran who wants a meaningful job should have the support to obtain and grow in one; that every veteran who wants to own a home should have a pathway to owning a home; and that every veteran who wants to start a small business should be able to get the education, training, and other support necessary to start a small business. I am pleased that I am not alone in this thinking, the leadership throughout JPMorgan Chase—from the very top on down—also share these beliefs and we collectively work every day to make these aspirations a reality.

Our country puts one day aside each year, Veterans Day, to honor those who have served their country in the military. But beyond the parades and other celebrations and remembrances, this holiday is also the perfect opportunity for us to commit to the very tangible ways in which we can support those who have given so much on behalf of us all.

Col. Ross Brown, Joint Task Force-Bravo commander, gives backpacks filled with school supplies to 17 children from a local orphanage Sept. 17, 2011 during their visit to Soto Can Air Base, Honduras. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew McGovern)


Col. Ross Brown, Joint Task Force-Bravo commander, gives backpacks filled with school supplies to 17 children from a local orphanage Sept. 17, 2011 during their visit to Soto Can Air Base, Honduras. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew McGovern)

Veterans bring invaluable and unmatched skills and character to the workforce. Despite these assets, veterans continue to face challenges when transitioning to civilian life. While employment rates for veterans are better than they were, they transition more frequently than their civilian colleagues. In fact, a recent study found that almost 50% of veterans leave their first job after the military within a year. Nearly two thirds of veterans report that their experience and skills are greater than or significantly greater than what is required for their current civilian jobs.

While the vast majority of all companies with whom we work recognize the value that their veteran employees contribute, to retain veteran talent, employers also need to invest in tailored onboarding, education and training and affinity groups.

JPMorgan Chase is the leader and proud member of the 240 strong Veteran Jobs Mission. We as a coalition have committed to hiring one million veterans in the years ahead and importantly—to identify ways to better retain the veterans that we hire. More than 400,000 have already been hired by the coalition, and we have great momentum to reach the ultimate objective of one million. At JPMorgan Chase, we have hired more than 12,000 in the past five years.

As the late President John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Let us take the time to honor those who have served this Veterans Day, and commit to giving back to them in a very tangible way.

Photo: CRMVA 5th anniversary infographic


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About the Author:
Ross Brown is managing director and head of Military and Veterans Affairs (MVA) for JPMorgan Chase. In this role, he oversees programs and initiatives related to MVA’s strategic pillars: Veteran Training and Development, Employment and Small Business and Strategic Initiatives.. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and longtime Veteran of the US Army, Ross brings nearly three decades of military and public service experience to the Firm. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Ross was a senior executive (SES) in the U.S. Department of Defense.