T-Mobile Is a Top Military Employer — Here’s Why!

May 2, 2024 9:00 AM ET

As the Un-carrier celebrates hitting its cumulative goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the past five years, leaders at partner organizations Hiring Our Heroes and Blue Star Families share why it’s critical for companies to double down on creating inclusive work environments and career opportunities, and what they see as most important for the success of military families.

In 2018, T-Mobile unveiled an expansive, companywide initiative to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over a five-year time period. By the end of 2023, the goal was achieved. “This hiring goal was five years in the making and throughout that journey we’re proud to have supported thousands of veterans and their families in creating meaningful and flexible career opportunities, while also helping them build new skills and grow their professional resumes,” said Holli Martinez, Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at T-Mobile. “We’re honored to welcome veterans and military spouses into Team Magenta, and we’re also just as proud to have supported others who have taken their T-Mobile experience into other arenas to further advance their careers. We’ll always consider them part of our T-Mobile family and we won’t stop looking for best military talent.”

Working with organizations like Hiring Our Heroes and Blue Star Families was critical in helping T-Mobile reach its hiring commitment and is a cornerstone for how the company will continue prioritizing and evolving programs and support for military families now and in the years to come.

Here we speak with Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes, an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation that connects veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses with employers, and Penny Bolden, Vice President of Brand Partnerships at Blue Star Families, a nonprofit that helps connect and support military families at the community level. The two share what they believe to be most important today for veterans and military spouses, and why partnerships with companies like T-Mobile are bringing about the kind of meaningful change that impacts lives.

What are some of the things you look for when partnering with a company? 

Eric Eversole, Hiring Our Heroes: We love partnerships like the one we have with T-Mobile because they’re hiring a lot of veterans and military spouses. They’ve shown up and they’re not only just waving the flag. We try to understand if they are trying to find talent or better reach out to the military community because it’s a community that they care about and want to help create opportunities.

Meet Alex Asuncion

Penny Bolden, Blue Star Families: Through an annual military family lifestyle survey we identify the current challenges this group is facing. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that we saw military spouse unemployment and underemployment rise to the top. Organizations like T-Mobile started including military spouses in their military recruitment retention programs, which when I became a military spouse back in 1998 wasn’t a thing! I was still hiding the fact that I was a military spouse on my resume. T-Mobile took time to understand that data.

What do you see as being most impactful for veterans and military spouses in 2024 in terms of their employment?

Eric: I am proud of the progress we’ve made over the last 12-plus years at Hiring Our Heroes with great companies like T-Mobile, but I’m even more excited about the future. We are facing one of the most significant evolutions of our workforce in our nation’s history. As the workforce changes and the types of work change, companies need to evolve to stay successful — and they are looking at military talent, military spouses and veterans, as an example of what “great” looks like. It’s the adaptability, it’s the resiliency, it’s the problem-solving capabilities, it’s the trainability of these populations that companies are wanting to hire because they know that they can train someone relatively quick on certain skill sets. The big challenge in front of us is skills-based hiring, and veterans and military spouses are leading the way.

Penny: What we are trying to do is shout from the rooftops to our military spouse community that there are some organizations who have taken the time to really understand the specific and unique challenges that the military spouse community faces. From a military spouse hiring perspective, we highlight companies like T-Mobile that can provide stability and a sense of belonging for a demographic that has unique challenges. They move every two to three years and have trouble retaining their employment and trouble progressing in their career because they’re always changing jobs. Also, because of their constant moving, they often don’t have local experience or have gaps in their resumes. A lot of companies are not aware of what’s needed and haven’t done the research to understand and adjust. For us to be able to hold up T-Mobile as one of our original signatories on understanding this, it’s a way to show others how they can do their part too.

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Do you have any stories or memorable moments from partnering with T-Mobile you can share? 

Eric: T-Mobile hosted an event with us with the Washington Nationals baseball team last fall. It was the first event that I know of where a Major League Baseball team focused solely on military spouses as an audience that needs employment opportunities. We brought in some great leaders that day to talk about the opportunities and the challenges that military spouses face. From there, we really worked aggressively to help those military spouses find jobs. T-Mobile supported that event and put a spotlight on the military spouse community. It was incredibly impactful that they were there to hire people. Story after story about veterans and military spouses being hired by T-Mobile have been really powerful.

Penny: I had the chance to meet a lot of people from T-Mobile when we did a home makeover event. [T-Mobile sponsored an episode of Moving with the Military, which aired throughout November 2023 on various streaming services, and was featured in USA Today and Humankind.] Forty volunteers turned up for three straight days! T-Mobile’s culture is undeniable. When a company presents itself authentically and takes the time to do this in the hiring practices, then it shows it’s also part of its culture. We’re working with the T-Mobile Military & Diversity Recruiting team on talent acquisition right now, and we have three moments coming up this year to show gratitude. It’s about really giving back and making people feel see that this brand really does care.

Meet Laura Linderman Barker

Though some of the unemployment numbers out there can be disheartening, especially for military spouses who hold the top unemployment percentage of any other demographic, what does it mean to hear that companies like T-Mobile have committed to hiring veterans and military spouses?

Eric: How do we create a culture of inclusion in our companies that makes everybody feel welcome and part of a team? T-Mobile does it incredibly well because they have great training and career opportunities, so people are able to have more than a job. They can build a lasting career, and also feel committed to the company’s mission. They’re committed to its leaders and their teammates. That’s all incredibly important for our military community. They want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. Companies like T-Mobile are really creating that culture and making people feel welcome.

Penny: I think the intention in the past has been perceived as checking a box to say, “We support our troops, we hire veterans.” But now when companies like T-Mobile step up and say, “We know what’s really needed and we’re going to provide it,” it’s received much differently from our community.

Meet Jamie Weare

T-Mobile is nationally recognized as a military friendly employer, received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Military Spouse Employer and Mentorship Award and is an original signatory of the 4+1 commitment, a nationwide effort to tackle the unemployment rate among military spouses.