When the general public hears the word veteran, studies show they rarely identify women as being veterans despite women having served in the United States military for generations. Women – aka -moms, daughters, sisters, wives have served in such capacities as the Women’s Army Corps, Women Accepted for Volunteer Services and Women Airforce Service Pilots (better known as the WACs, WAVEs and WASPs) of World War II to combat nurses in Korea and Vietnam to Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan.
In 2013 women’s equitable capabilities were recognized with the lifting of the ban on women in combat and fully realized in December 2015 when all combat positions were opened to women. Women, now eligible to compete for assignment in all military occupational specialties and positions, are the fastest-growing subpopulation of the military and veteran communities. They comprise almost 20 percent of the active-duty armed forces, Reserve and National Guard and 10 percent of the total veteran population.
Sarah Roberts, Head of Military and Veteran Programs, is a female veteran on a new mission. A West Point Academy graduate, with a master’s from Gonzaga, she has been a part of leading teams and shaping initiatives at both Amazon and Microsoft and now finds herself leading a very important initiative at LinkedIn — the social network for professionals founded on Dec. 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003.
Last June, LinkedIn launched a partnership with the Department of Defense to provide LinkedIn Premium to military spouses during each permanent change of station (PCS) and once again upon conclusion of military service. With LinkedIn Premium, military spouses have access to the online library of more than 12,000 LinkedIn Learning courses, including a tailored course designed to help military spouses succeed in flexible, freelance, or remote jobs. It also gives members access to LinkedIn’s networking and job search tools to help them find their next professional opportunity. It is valued at $360 per year.
They’ve expanded that partnership to include the U.S. Coast Guard and will offer Premium benefits to spouses throughout their professional careers. In addition, they also partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide Premium benefits to veteran caregivers and Fry Scholar recipients.
In The Military Wire podcast, Sarah shares not only what drives her to continue to make impact as well as some of the new LinkedIn Premium features but some of the common mistakes people make with their LinkedIn profile that prevent them from potentially landing their dream job.
Sarah Roberts is an example of how those who served in the military continue to make impact post military and why our female Veterans, despite still being underserved in many of the available benefits, have truly earned and deserve the full benefits and respect of a grateful nation.
Bottom Line: Sarah Roberts is our Bravo Zulu Recipient for the month of June.
Edmonds resident Mike Schindler is the founder and chief executive officer of Operation Military Family Cares –– a 501(c)(3) veteran service organization and technology provider that combats veteran homelessness, while working to strengthen relationships and equip communities and families for success.