One very special category of American veterans are getting some equally specialized assistance as they transition to life outside of the military.

Tommy Stoner, CEO of the Special Operators Transition Foundation, told Rome civic leaders that employers couldn’t ask for better employees than former special operations soldiers.

The foundation was organized in 2013 as Your Grateful Nation and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

“They’ve all been leaders, they’ve all been very dynamic,” Stoner told members of the Rome Rotary Club. “They were selected to be put into the most complex situations with little guidance and figure it out and succeed both as an individual and as a team.”

Stoner said the other thing that makes Special Operations soldiers unique as they transition to the public workforce is that are used to being part of a team and are used to being key influencers.

The Special Operators Transition Foundation is focused on matching soldiers with potential employers and screens the troops extensively.

“That’s about a two month initial process,” Stoner said. “During this exploration we really focus on where it is (a potential job) and what they do.”

To date, the program has placed about 230 veterans and has been doubling in size virtually every year.

“We’re on track for about 200 annually and that’s about where we’ll cap the growth because of who we’re looking for and the types of work we place,” Stoner said. “Where they are landing is as diverse as the interest in work.”

“We have a very good retention and sticking rate with the companies we go to and we’re very selective with the companies we work with,” Stoner said. He estimated that 50% of them have already received promotions.

“We’re not looking to get people jobs, we’re looking to get people a meaningful career transition,” Stoner said.

These companies are going to benefit from that purpose, passion and high performance that they bring.”

Businesses can get additional information about the program online at www.sotf.org.

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