Showing the value of veterans: A look at our military employee resource group

RTX VETS helps veterans, spouses grow and thrive in civilian life

Not only did they have to pack up and move from Virginia to Colorado, but once they arrived, he would have to deploy to Afghanistan for 10 months.

“Amidst the stress of having a brand-new baby and moving across the country, I knew I would have to look for a new job,” said Krueger, explaining that her previous employer had no office near her new home, and that full-time remote work was not yet commonplace.

She soon accepted a new role with Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business, where she is now an associate director of strategy in Mission Systems. But the memory of that hectic moment remains with Krueger – and it motivated her to join RTX VETS, the company’s employee resource group for military veterans, families and supporters.

A year after the RTX VETS community was reorganized and launched as a companywide organization, Krueger and RTX VETS Chair Charles Moore continue to focus on hiring veterans and veteran family members – and enabling them to grow and thrive at the company.

“I want to remove the stress that military spouses experience over and over again and say, ‘We’ve got you, we’ve got a path forward, and we want to keep you.’”

Lindsay Krueger | Co-chair | RTX VETS

Focused on the future

RTX VETS, Raytheon Technologies’ employee resource group for military veterans, families and supporters, is part of the company’s commitment to strengthening inclusion, creating equitable opportunities and retaining skilled employees amid high demand for talent in the industry. The group’s initiatives include:

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Growing a companywide committee to support veterans and family members in their careers

Creating an internal database that lists the special skills and experience of veterans

Partnering with HR and hiring managers to create custom guides for new employees
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Applying veteran employees’ direct experience with products to strengthen business and support for customers

The value of the veteran

Moore, a U.S. Army veteran, is focused on promoting the valuable skills and experience veterans bring to Raytheon Technologies – characteristics such as resiliency and adaptability, along with direct leadership experience and firsthand knowledge of defense products. He’s also working on a framework to help the company retain them and help them grow in their careers.

The group’s strategy includes creating professional development opportunities, visiting career fairs, holding networking events at company sites, and creating an internal database of veteran employees that captures their skills, experiences and talents.

The database will allow managers and human resources staff to find veterans with specific skills, knowledge and experience, and to identify candidates for career advancement opportunities.

Veterans’ experience “is extremely valuable to us. How can we leverage that for our engineering, maintenance, or logistics teams to enhance our offerings, or to create the next generation of the product?” Krueger said. “It’s just an amazing skill set that these folks bring to our company – and that helps our customers win, too.”

A network of support

Moore saw the value in employee resource groups on his first day at Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s Huntsville, Alabama, site in 2016. He recalls being greeted by a representative who connected him to the veterans community. Soon he had a network of people who could answer his questions about the site and the new community where he and his wife had just moved.

That, he said, helped them “to not feel completely alone.”

“It made us feel like part of a team,” he said. “It brought a sense of inclusive culture. You’re not just a part of another big company.”

Now, Moore is building on that support with initiatives including a companywide committee to promote career development for veterans and their families, and an internal database that lists the skills that veteran employees developed in the military.

“Creating that environment for every employee to feel like they belong and that they can come and grow and have an impact – that’s one of the things employee resource groups bring to our community and our culture,” he said.

“Our ERG is focused on creating initiatives that are longer-term. We are laying the foundation for five years from now for veterans at Raytheon Technologies.”

Charles Moore | Chair | RTX VETS

Coming full-circle

For Krueger, working at Raytheon Technologies has shown how a company can fully support military spouses in their lives and careers. After her husband returned to Colorado from his deployment, he received new orders and they moved back east to North Carolina, where they live now.

Only this time, she got to keep her job.

“Raytheon Technologies allowed me to move and I still had opportunities, development, and I was recently promoted – all while working fully remotely,” she said. “It shows the commitment to employees and to possibility.”

“We’ve got so many people who are a veteran, currently serving or a family member,” Krueger continued. “There are a lot of people who can have really rewarding, fulfilling careers and keep going in the organization. We see you, we see what you bring forward, and we value it so greatly.”