Why Kellogg is an inclusive, opportunity-driven company for military vets

By Greg Miller Senior Director, Business Development

Note: Greg Miller joined Kellogg in 1996 following an impressive military career. A graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., he served six years on active duty. He deployed twice – once in the Persian Gulf and again in the Mediterranean Sea. He then spent 16 years in the Naval Reserve before retiring as a Naval Commander.

When I first came to Kellogg, my bosses said they hired me because they liked to hire military people.

They believed veterans could easily adjust to the corporate world and, I’ll tell you, after working for a number of teams and on a number of projects in the last 25 years, I’ve certainly found that to be the case for me.

There are a number of other reasons why Kellogg still likes to hire veterans.

For one, the military is a large global organization – just like our company. Military people know their roles and understand the process (especially in manufacturing companies).  

In the military, you learn to overcome obstacles and not make excuses. You want to win, but when you lose you know how to bounce back. Most military veterans have a really strong work ethic to get the job done right.

But perhaps the biggest positive quality military people have is respect.

That’s a big reason why, in 2011, I helped create Kellogg’s K Vets and Supporters Business Employee Resource Group (BERG).

We did it because we wanted to help Kellogg managers understand the benefits and opportunities of hiring military people. We also wanted to reward and recognize the family members of our employees who serve or served.

One year, early on, we gave out pins for Veterans Day to recognize our employees who were veterans. A lot of our plant employees are veterans, and I remember one gentleman telling me that he’d been with the company for 30 years and that it was the first time his service had been acknowledged.

K Vets and Supporters has come a long way since the pin days.

We hosted “Dining In,” where we invited local Battle Creek Army Reserve members and their partners to our Kellogg Headquarters for a fancy dinner. We opened it up to other branches of the military over the years, too. It was cool, because most of those people had never seen our building.

We assemble Kellogg Cares packages for deployed soldiers and their families. We have a booth at Service Academy career fairs. We support toy drives at Christmas through Toys for Tots. We’ve sponsored family days at local military reserve centers, where we’d bring Kellogg food and promotional trinkets as a thank you.

We’ve had Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients speak to employees at our auditorium.

And we collaborate with Kellogg’s seven other BERGs to share processes and, in some cases, costs. Very few companies have eight BERGs, so I’m very proud of that.

I’m also proud that Kellogg is conscious of the mental health challenges, like post-traumatic stress disorder, that some of our veteran employees might face. K Vets always offers open lines of communication for employees who need to talk.

I write all of this to say that it’s an honor and privilege to work for a company that treats military veterans the way Kellogg does. If you’re a vet who is looking for a fresh start, I’d urge you to consider Kellogg.

Just like the Navy or any other military branch, our company operates as one family, with a common mission, in an inclusive culture.

Happy Veterans Day.

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