What does Military Friendly® mean?
Military Friendly® is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community.
Now, let’s unpack that. Because every word of that definition was purposefully chosen.
“Military Friendly®”: First of all, the term “Military” refers to the military community; which we define as the people of the active duty, reserve, guard, veterans and military spouses. It does NOT refer to the military as an organization. It’s also a trademarked name. That’s important because there are lots of copycat military lists and ratings programs, none of who possess the rigor and timeline of ours, that result in mistaken identity. We are the standard. So it’s important to trademark the name and protect its integrity. When you see the Military Friendly® seal and logo, you can trust what that means.
“is the standard”: It’s a designation that establishes baseline expectations in key areas to earn designation. Organizations that go above and beyond the baseline expectations can earn higher levels, which we call awards. This awards system of upward mobility incentivizes organizations to always strive to do more to support veterans.
“that measures”: Our ratings program is formulaic. It is objective. It has an outside Military Friendly® Advisory Council that provides perspective on criteria, methodology and weighting. It has a third party auditor (EY: Ernst & Young) verify the results.
“an organization’s”: This is purposefully a broad term because, as we currently rate large companies and post-secondary schools, we believe that every organization in America should be incentivize to be Military Friendly® so we are constantly opening up new ratings.
“commitment”: Commitment is the first of three sequential steps toward building a military program. Commitment refers to an organization setting policy.
“effort”: Effort is the second of three sequential steps and refers to an organization committing resources; people, time, capital, toward their military program. Think of this as them putting their money where their mouth is.
“and success“: Success is the third of three sequential steps and refers to an organization’s results. How successful have they been in building their program?
“in creating sustainable”: Sustainable refers to the duration of the benefit. In this case, it means that the benefit is virtually infinite in duration. It is self-perpetuating because it is fueled by providing core long-term value and ROI to the organization. Conversely, programs which are fueled by political or charitable tendencies, face certain demise when those inevitable winds shift direction.
“and meaningful”: Meaningful refers to the scope and origin of the benefit. In this case, it means that the benefit lifts the entire community. This is unlike a charitable donation which often benefits only a disaffected few. Meaningful also refers to the benefit being not an entitlement, but rather an opportunity. This is in line with our belief that the military community seeks a hand up, not a hand out.
“benefit”: Benefit means that veterans have earned either “front of line privileges,” or “back stage passes.” Benefit is also in keeping with our mission of supporting and empowering the military community.
“for the military community.”: The military community does not refer to the Department of Defense. It refers to the people who serve, serve alongside or served: active duty, guard, reserve, military spouses and veterans.