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Supporting Our Troops

Issue Summary

Members of the military and their families make great sacrifices for our country and often confront unique challenges during periods of deployment and throughout their return to civilian life. Companies have an important role to play in supporting veterans.

Our Position

For nearly 100 years, AT&T has remained dedicated to supporting military personnel, veterans and their families. Our nation’s servicemen and women make sacrifices to protect our country and our freedoms. As a company, it is an honor to support them at home and abroad. Moreover, military veterans possess the skills and experience we need to succeed as a company and are an invaluable part of our workforce.

Data Highlights

2017 Key Performance Indicators
  • Spend with minority-, women-, service-disabled veteran- and LGBT-owned business enterprises: $14.4B
  • Percent of total spend with minority-, women-, service-disabled veteran and LGBT-owned business enterprises: 25.22%1

Our Action

Recruiting and Hiring Military Veterans

We’ve integrated veteran recruitment into our business practices for years. We focus on recruiting veterans not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good for our business. In the past few years, we’ve enhanced our military recruitment programs by increasing our promotion of AT&T as an employer of choice within the veteran community. That includes maintaining a Military Talent Attraction Program Manager to inform the military about AT&T and educate AT&T managers about the military.

Online Tools and Resources

We understand that the job search and application process at large companies can be challenging for anyone—and even more so for veterans. Therefore, we created online tools, resources and checkpoints to optimize success through our recruitment process, such as:


  • A military-focused career site:
  • The Careers for Veterans program, which is designed to support veterans moving into civilian life by providing career advice and insight on AT&T jobs:
  • An AT&T Military Timeline to help guide veterans step-by-step through their transition to the civilian/corporate workforce
  • A career page for military spouses highlighting work locations that provide portable, flexible jobs:
  • A featured stories section of military and veteran related content where veterans can gain insight to AT&T culture and hear from our veteran employees: News from Command


Our Hiring Committment

AT&T actively focuses on recruiting veterans into career paths because the experience and skills gained through military service are an invaluable contribution to the workforce. In 2013, AT&T announced a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans over the course of the next 5 years. We met that commitment in 2015—well ahead of schedule. In 2016, AT&T announced that it would double its original commitment by hiring an additional 10,000 veterans—for a total of 20,000—by 2020.

AT&T is also a founding member of the Veteran Jobs Mission, launched in 2011 by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and 10 other companies to commit to hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. Since then, the coalition has grown to more than 230 private-sector companies that represent almost every industry in the U.S. economy. Collectively, members have hired more than 415,149 veterans since 2011.

Once veterans are hired, AT&T helps ensure they have the skills needed to grow their careers and succeed as employees in the ever-evolving technology landscape. 

Veterans Employee Resource Group

The AT&T Veterans employee resource group (ERG) was founded in 1983 and now serves more than 10,000 members in 44 chapters across the U.S. It’s an independent organization of AT&T employees and retirees dedicated to serving the veteran and active military community.

The ERG creates an instant community for veterans joining the company and involves them in outreach, philanthropy and volunteer opportunities—including ways to refer fellow veterans for jobs at AT&T. Members of this ERG serve as career ambassadors and represent AT&T at veteran career events.

2017 ERG highlights:



  • $100,000 in scholarships were distributed to qualifying veterans in 2017


ROTC Leadership Program

  • 85 universities participated
  • 120 individual leadership awards were given to cadets and midshipmen


Operation Gratitude

  • 300+ volunteer hours recorded
  • Nearly 2,000 kits were mailed
  • Approximately 5,000 calling cards were donated


Supporting Active Military and Veteran Organizations

AT&T supports military members and veterans, as well as their families, through the following organizations:

Team Rubicon

AT&T supported Team Rubicon with a contribution of more than $1 million in 2017. The funding assisted the organization’s disaster recovery efforts in the aftermath of several natural disasters and enabled it to increase the number of trained volunteers. Team Rubicon is a non-profit disaster response organization operating in Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy disaster response teams, free of charge to the communities it serves. Team Rubicon currently maintains a roster of nearly 70,000 volunteers located throughout the U.S., approximately 70% of whom are military veterans.

Thank Our Heroes

To celebrate Veterans Day and thank our heroes, AT&T made a $500,000 contribution that was shared among 16 organizations supporting veterans and their families, fighting veteran homelessness, providing job placement and educational opportunities, training service dogs and supporting physical and mental health. Recipients include Operation Tiny Home in California; Veteran’s Resource Center at Santa Ana College, Calif.; Zero8Hundred in California; NPower in New Jersey; Home Base at Massachusetts General Hospital; Veterans Outreach Center in New York; Liberty House Veterans Services in New Hampshire; National Ability Center in Utah; Family Alliance for Veterans of America in Iowa; National Sports Center for the Disabled in Colorado; National Infantry Museum in Georgia; K9s for Warriors in Florida; USO in South Carolina; Association of the United States Army in Texas; Desert Forge Foundation in New Mexico; and Veterans Community Project in Missouri.

Carry The Load

AT&T supported Carry The Load with a $50,000 contribution in 2017. Carry The Load is a non-profit dedicated to providing active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes—military, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders. Although it began as a way to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day, Carry The Load works to bring all Americans together to participate in honoring our nation’s heroes every day.

Cell Phones For Soldiers

AT&T has a long-standing mission to connect members of our nation’s military with their loved ones back home. Initiated in 2004 and expanded through financial support from AT&T, Cell Phones For Soldiers is a non-profit that uses funds from recycled cell phones to buy prepaid phone cards for our servicemen and women, helping them connect with their families. Since October 2015, AT&T has donated more than $85,000 to Cell Phones For Soldiers through the AT&T Trade-in Program.

Supporting Veteran-Owned Businesses

In 2017, AT&T Supplier Diversity continued to support activities to include service-disabled veteran–owned business enterprises (SDVBEs) in our Global Supply Chain.

Since 1992, the AT&T Supplier Diversity program has included the utilization of SDVBE firms. We work to ensure that we conduct targeted outreach to the veteran business community as well as support veteran business organizations. We remain committed to the inclusion of service-disabled veteran–owned businesses to support our business and provide products and services to AT&T customers around the world.

Our 2017 veteran business activities included:


  • National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC): The National Veteran Business Development Council provides third-party veteran-owned business certifications as a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. AT&T provided sponsorship and support to the organization in 2017.
  • Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (DVBA): Keeping the Promise Conference: AT&T Supplier Diversity supports this annual business conference to identify certified disabled veteran-owned businesses through matchmaking meetings and by visiting firms during the expo. Our team also participated in seminars during the event.
  • 2017 National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE): AT&T is a participant in the NVSBE annual event, which directly connects veteran-owned small businesses with procurement representatives from corporations, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), federal agencies and state governments.
  • Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (DVBA) Regional – Texas: AT&T Supplier Diversity hosted the DVBA regional quarterly networking meeting at the AT&T facility in Dallas. We were joined by contract representatives from Ericsson. Both companies delivered presentations to firms in attendance.
  • The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA): NaVOBA’s mission is to create corporate contracting opportunities for America’s veteran- and service-disabled veteran–owned business enterprises (VBEs/SDVBEs) through certification, advocacy, outreach, recognition and education. AT&T Supplier Diversity provides support to this organization.
  • AT&T Mobility Operations Support Team (MOST) Conference: When small and diverse suppliers expressed interest in providing contract work for cell tower services and other supporting services, we answered the call. The AT&T Supplier Diversity team partnered with the AT&T MOST to conduct a comprehensive information session for small and diverse suppliers that provided critical information for the supplier onboarding process, including for veteran-owned businesses. To reach suppliers in multiple regions, the session was webcast from Atlanta and streamed to 5 viewing locations: Bedminster, N.J.; Chicago, Dallas, Hanover, Md.; and San Ramon, Calif.  
  • AT&T Mobility Construction Conferences: We launched our 1st in a series of turf vendor (i.e., wireless infrastructure deployment vendors) subcontracting conferences in November 2017, in which multiple service-disabled veteran–owned businesses participated. The conferences are developed to match diverse businesses with subcontracting opportunities from our tier-1 turf vendors in support of the AT&T mobility and broadband network construction buildouts. The conferences will be held in regional locations across the country throughout 2018 and will provide learning opportunities on topics such as new site builds, wireless local loop and bandwidth expansion.
  • New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Supplier Diversity Development Council Salute to Veterans Conference: An AT&T Supplier Diversity manager served as president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Supplier Diversity Development Council (SDDC) and spearheaded the SDDC’s 2017 Salute to Veterans Conference. 
  • AT&T Business Growth Acceleration Program (BGAP): AT&T funded and executed BGAP, an intensive 6-month educational curriculum for a select group of qualified, certified minority business leaders, including veterans. BGAP incorporates real-world business knowledge with 1-on-1 virtual mentoring sessions to support and address participants’ specific business situations. The series provides traditional executive training modules that cover a wide range of topics, such as building a solid financial structure, developing a business plan and fostering techniques that improve operational efficiencies, with the intent to strengthen participants’ abilities to win corporate contracts. The practical, hands-on learning approach, coupled with mentoring from industry experts around the country, has enabled each student to immediately apply concepts learned to address individual business challenges. Participants also meet other peers, mentors, instructors and sponsors for the opportunity to form partnerships and continued networking to ensure lasting organizational impact. At the end of 2017, AT&T Supplier Diversity awarded 10 minority businesses scholarships—and 4 went to SDVBEs.


To learn more about our supplier diversity programs, view our Supplier Diversity issue brief.


Awards and Recognitions

2017 awards include:


  • 2017 DiversityInc., Top Companies for Veterans, No. 4
  • 2017 Military Times, Best for Veterans: Employers, No. 45
  • 2017 G.I. Jobs magazine, Military Friendly Employers, Bronze Award, (AT&T  has ranked within the top 50 for past 12 years)
  • 2017 G.I. Jobs & Victory Media, Top 100 Military Spouse Friendly Employers, No. 44
  • 2017 U.S. Veterans magazine, Best of the Best – Top 10 Veteran-Friendly Companies
  • 2017 U.S. Veterans magazine, Top Supplier Diversity Programs

1 Supplier diversity spend and performance excludes content and programming spend.

Updated on: Nov 20, 2018