Tag Archive for 'minutemen'

Redefining the title “Military Veteran”

America’s first military, the “Minutemen” militia, were shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. Today we call them small business owners, but they were our first veterans.

Defining a veteran today is more complicated because there are multiple uses of the term. The Veterans Administration understandably has a strict, technical definition because it’s responsible for dispersing VA benefits. The classic definition is someone who has served on active duty for more than six months. But what about the volunteer service of the National Guard and Reserves?

For decades, National Guard members and Reservists have been comprised of two groups – those who deploy for an extended period and those who prepared themselves for a deployment. And since the Minutemen, America’s small business owners have been included in these ranks. But the past 20 years have required an extra degree of commitment from them because of the increased likelihood that they may have to leave their businesses for a deployment, possibly more than once.

Since 1990, two developments have created new expectations for America’s Guard and Reserves: 1) Three Middle East conflicts – Desert Storm, the Iraq War and the Afghan War – have combined for 20 years of deployments, so far; and 2) The increasing deployment expectations of Guard and Reserve units to augment declining regular armed forces numbers.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Guard and Reserves have accounted for one-third of U.S. forces, and a comparable percentage of casualties. Many of these patriots have been deployed two, three or more times. The Rand Corporation reports, “Use of the Guard and Reserve has steadily increased since the first Gulf War and this trend is likely to continue.” Indeed, you can expect the efficiency of Guard and Reserve assets to figure even more heavily in America’s national security plans in the face of impending budget cuts.

So on this Veterans Day let’s honor all who have proudly volunteered to wear the uniform. This includes members of the Guard and Reserves who have deployed alongside the regular military, as well as those volunteers who weren’t deployed, but who trained and made themselves available to be deployed for years as their country needed them.

In the modern age of American national defense, if you wore the uniform of any of the armed forces you deserve to be called a veteran and receive the gratitude and recognition of a grateful nation.

It’s time to expand our definition of a veteran.

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Today on The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about the role of National Guard and Reservists in preserving and protecting America’s liberty. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

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Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Let’s rethink the definition of a veteran

America’s first military, the “Minutemen” militia, were shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. We would call them small business owners now, and they were our first veterans.

Today, there are many technical definitions of a “veteran”; most are associated with eligibility for VA benefits. The non-technical one is someone who has served on active duty for more than six months. But those whose orders read “Active duty for training” – like most National Guard members and Reservists – have not typically been included in this definition.

In the past two decades, two developments created new expectations for America’s Guard and Reserves: 1) Three conflicts, including Desert Storm (1990-91), the Afghanistan War (2001-Present) and the Iraqi War (2003-Present); and 2) The increasing practice of deploying Guard and Reserve units to augment inadequate regular force numbers.

According to the Rand Corporation, “Use of the Guard and Reserve has steadily increased since the first Gulf War and this trend is likely to continue.” Indeed, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guard members and Reservists have accounted for one-third of U.S. forces, and a comparable percentage of casualties. As of August 2011, there were 91,367 Guard and Reserve members on extended deployment. And many of these patriots have been deployed two, three, and in some cases, four times in the past 20 years.

Consequently, since 1990, National Guard members and Reservists have been comprised of two groups – those who have experienced an extended active duty deployment and those who know they may have to deploy.

Since the Minutemen, America has been able to count on small business owners to volunteer for the militia. But developments of the past 20 years have required an extra degree of commitment because of the increased likelihood they may have to leave their businesses for an extended deployment, possibly more than once.

This Veterans Day, we honor all who served on active duty as a member of the U.S. military, including members of the Guard and Reserves who have deployed along-side members of the regular military. But isn’t it time we also recognize those who volunteered, trained, and stood by to be deployed as their country needed them?

In the modern age of U.S. military practices, if you wore a uniform of any of the armed forces, you deserve to receive the gratitude and recognition of a grateful nation.

It’s time to expand our definition of a veteran.

I talked more about veterans and Veterans Day, as well as career coaching for and hiring veterans on The Small Business Advocate Show. Click on one of these links to listen or download:

Helping veterans return to the workforce with Adrian Guglielmo

It’s time to expand the definition of “veteran” with Jim Blasingame

Career coaching for veterans with Caren Shaffer, Profiles International

Hiring a veterans could be a business best practice with Caren Shaffer, Profiles International

For more great SBA content, click HERE!




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