Between 2002 and 2015, the Veterans Administration changed its policies to better assist veterans by more than doubling money spent on programs related to employment and education, the top two areas of need among veterans. Many large corporations stepped up to the plate too and started seeking out veteran hires. It worked. 

As of September 2022, the veteran unemployment rate was 2.7%, while the comparable non-veteran employment rate was 3.4%. Across generations, veterans are finding meaningful work, and that is major cause for celebration this Veterans Day. We, in the data center industry, have benefited greatly from legions of vets who’ve lent their talents and work ethic to support the mission critical industry’s growth. 

Almost three years since the pandemic spurred a massive increase in cloud migration and demand for data center capacity, data center staffing needs remain strong. Demand for workers was about 2 million full-time employees per year before the pandemic. Now, at least 2.3 million workers are required to keep data centers running optimally every year.  

Compass Datacenters is proud to partner with Salute Mission Critical to staff data centers. Veterans fill an important void in the data center industry and offer the following valuable characteristics to the workforce.  

  • Detail oriented — Most of the time, when the wheels go off the rails in a data center, it’s a factor of human error. Strict adherence to protocols is key to keeping data centers up and running. The military is all about processes and protocols, and following them to the letter to support a positive outcome. Veterans are exceptionally disciplined and focused with a high aptitude for complying with structured systems of operation.
  • Quick thinkers — While veterans know how to follow procedures, this doesn't mean they're not critical thinkers. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Veterans are trained to think quickly and clearly, drawing from a well-understood and finite universe of responses to resolve problems that inevitably arise. They’ll follow procedures precisely, but, when a challenge arises that’s outside of standard operating procedures, they’re quick to jump into problem-solving mode and apply creative critical thinking to resolve the issue before it results in downtime.
  • Mission minded — Having a team of operators who understand their purpose and how it translates into the success of the broader mission success is key to preventing missteps.  With that mission focus comes incredible discipline and work ethic that drives high quality work output.

All of these attributes align perfectly with how we at Compass Datacenters operate. Our culture values  humility, continuous improvement, and being true to your word. Veterans fit right in.

As an industry, let’s continue to make a concerted effort to bring more veterans into the fold by pointing out their many transferable skills stemming from service in the military. Tony Grayson, a Navy veteran and general manager of Compass’s Quantum division, offers some helpful transition tips for veterans in a monthly vlog that covers topics, like writing a CV or résumé, making the transition and getting acclimated to civilian life and the corporate world, and networking for a mission critical job.

In closing, Grayson talks about not selling yourself short as a veteran, and I couldn’t agree more. There are so many transferable skills that give veterans the insight, perspective and confidence to dive in and build a long, second career in the mission critical space.  

On Veterans Day and every day, I have tremendous respect and gratitude for military veterans. Let’s rally around them and continue opening doors to our industry and filling data centers with hard working, smart, mission-minded veterans.