By Amanda Boyer
Quincy University was recently recognized as a Military Friendly school for the 2017 school year. This year, there were more than 200 employers and 1,200 post-secondary schools that were designated Military Friendly.
Military Friendly, a division of veteran-owned Victory Media, began in 2003. Its mission is to create a professional opportunity for the nation’s military service members, veterans and military spouses. This program exhibits leading practices in recruiting and supporting post-military students.
Military Friendly rates companies and colleges based on their programs that recruit and retain military veterans as employees and students. Military Friendly’s ratings help to attract and support veterans and military candidates. Military Friendly is a trusted compass of military candidates seeking civilian opportunities. Active duty service members, veterans and military spouses use the ratings every year to help them determine where to work and where to go to school.
Quincy University junior Aaron Hardin, a political science major, is a military veteran. As of this March, he will have completed his eight-year military service with four years on active duty and four years on inactive duty.
After high school, he attended John Wood Community College until he decided that he wanted more. Hardin’s father, a military veteran who served for 10 years, had a great experience in the military. Hardin decided that he wanted that as well, so he signed up for the Army. Coincidentally, Hardin graduated basic training in Kansas, 30 years to the day, from when his father graduated back in 1979.
Hardin started school at QU in 2014, one year after returning from active duty, after serving in Iraq in 2011 and 2012. He made the choice to come back to school because he had always wanted to be a part of the traditional college experience.
Throughout his time so far at QU, Hardin has been involved with many activities. He was an impact mentor, vice president of the Student Government Association, a member of the Student Community Standards Board and many others.
“In my second year here, I was an impact mentor, and it has related a lot to my time overseas, where everything was a do-or-die situation,” Hardin said. “There was not procrastinating. It was give it all you can.”
Military Friendly measures a military recruiting program in three main areas. First, it measures whether the school or company engages the prospective military student or employee in a recruiting environment. Second, it measures whether the company or school educates the military student or employee once he or she is part of the company or school. Lastly, it measures whether the company or school employs the military student or employee in meaningful employment.
“Ending up at a smaller school really did make a difference. Bigger isn’t always better. People know you and who you are. This environment is more personal and more caring, where you can thrive more,” Hardin said.
Shane Wood, a junior at John Wood Community College, is planning on majoring in electrical technology. Wood has also been a member of the National Guard, as private first-class, for almost five years out of a six year term.
“It’s important to have programs like these out there for people who have been or currently are in the military,” Wood said. “It’s nice to know that people take notice of what you do and try to offer some benefits that make it easier for people in the military.”
For more information on Military Friendly, click here.
Photo credit to Aaron Hardin. He is pictured on the right.