Supporting the Troops

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June 27, 2014


On Veterans Day, Richard Davis, U.S. Bancorp President and CEO, hosts a conference call with all of the company’s current and former members of the military to personally thank them for their service. Melinda Thein, a Plymouth, Minnesota-based Army veteran and mother of three, first learned about the annual call when her husband worked for U.S. Bank — and was inspired to be a part of the company herself.

 

“It made me realize how much U.S. Bank truly honors and values veterans,” she says. “So when I was ready to re-join the workforce in 2012, it was the first place I wanted to work.”

 

The Value of Military Skills

Thein, Process Integration Manager for U.S. Bank's Business Transformation division, is one of the company's 2,000 veteran employees. Of the bank's 66,000 employees nationwide, 3 percent are veterans, including National Guard and Reserve members.

 

“Our specific set of skills can’t be taught, and they can’t always be put on paper,” Thein says. “It was important to me to work for a company that appreciates those skills.”

 

Skills such as an innate sense of urgency, the ability to take initiative or smoothly navigate the chain of command, and knowing when to let others lead and when to take charge make veterans ideal employees, she says.

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June 27, 2014


Support for Veteran Families

U.S. Bank also focuses on supporting veterans and their families throughout their careers through its Proud to Serve program, now in its sixth year.

 

U.S. Bank — named a “Best for Vets” employer by Military Times five years in a row — helps veterans search for employment opportunities through its Proud to Serve website and aggressively recruits them by participating in veteran job fairs.

 

Once veterans are hired, U.S. Bank offers: 

  • Paid days off during their first year to attend to service-related medical conditions or participate in reintegration activities
  •  Up to two weeks paid leave in connection with a family member’s military deployment for eligible employees
  • Special consideration for internal transfer requests made necessary by reassignments of spouses in the military

In fact, U.S. Bank’s policies and procedures regarding leave, benefits and pay for National Guard and Reserve employees exceed state and federal standards.

 

Commitment to Country

U.S. Bank makes it possible for military members to continue to serve their country.

 

Mike Drennan, Vice President for Oregon Commercial Banking in Portland, retired from the National Guard in 2008. “Every time I was called upon to attend annual training or respond to a natural disaster, not only were my managers supportive, but I also continued to get paid,” Drennan says. (The bank pays military members in full for up to 30 days while on special leave.)

Tab 3

June 27, 2014


“Not every company will do that,” he says. “You could get called for a natural disaster and be on a plane the next day, so your employer needs to be very understanding, and U.S. Bank is exactly that.”

 

Mike Ott, President of The Private Client Reserve, understands the value of this kind of support because he, too, is a member of the military, serving as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve with the Minnesota Air National Guard. 

 

“I am proud to serve in the Air Force, and U.S. Bank fully supports my commitment to the Reserves,”says Ott, also a member of U.S. Bank’s Proud to Serve steering committee. “My role as a military advisor on cyber strategy and commercial innovation with the Minnesota Air National Guard and at the Pentagon, allows me to work creatively not only on behalf of the Air Force, but in my work with our wealth management clients as well.”

A Hand in the Community

U.S. Bank also encourages its employees to support veterans and military families. Drennan organizes a Toys for Tots drive each year and serves on a board responsible for finding opportunities for U.S. Bank to partner with veterans groups. Last year, Thein organized the sponsorship of 94 military families by U.S. Bank teams across the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. They granted specific holiday wishes of family members and sent care packages to troops in Afghanistan that contained lip balm, stationery, gum, a ripcord bracelet, an Under Armour shirt and canned food.

 

“People who are in the service have an innate desire to serve,” Thein says. “Taking the uniform off doesn’t change that.”

 

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