Veteran woman gesturing with her hands

Veterans Find Connection and Purpose at MITRE

By Denise Schiavone

Military veterans comprise a considerable segment of MITRE’s workforce. As they bring their skills and dedication to serve, we connect them to a mission-focused culture and work that impacts the public good—in defense, homeland security, health, and more.

In the Army, JB Blackshire “broke bread, crossed deserts, dodged bullets, and shared laughs with friends and patriots,” experiences that help him view his life as one “well-lived.” At MITRE, he appreciates the opportunity to “engage with others who have similar experiences and engrained values.”

Blackshire, a cybersecurity engineer with the company for the past 15 years, is one of over 1,000 veterans who comprise 17% of our workforce. As they bring their skills and experience to our work across domains including cyber, health, and defense, we connect their expertise to opportunities to continue serving the nation.

Air Force veteran Jessica Chronister joined MITRE in 2021. She served on active duty as an astronautical developmental engineer and as a Reserves intelligence officer. She now enjoys a strong work-life balance as a part-time systems engineer in our Intelligence Center, supporting U.S. Space Command.

“Finding a role at MITRE that combined my space interests and my intelligence background felt like a dream come true,” she says. “My favorite aspect is the fact that the work we do here is mission-oriented. I’m excited to work on projects that truly have an impact on our country and the world.”

Veterans here also want to continue supporting other veterans—and find opportunities to do so in various ways, including through our Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG). The BRG offers resources and a space to connect with other veterans in and outside of MITRE.

That includes supporting causes such as the Honor Flight program. For Veterans Day this year, 82 MITRE employees and their family members gathered at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to honor the service of World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans from two arriving Honor Flights.

Our Veterans BRG also runs career resume workshops for service members nearing separation and organizes an annual “Care Packages for Troops” program. Across our sites, employees collect and package necessities to support hundreds of deployed personnel around the world.

The work we do here every day impacts the lives of people across the world. Not just warfighters and veterans but their kids, parents and grandparents, and friends and neighbors.

Kim Albero, DNP, health program analyst

Dedicated to “Continuum of Service”

Veterans BRG officer champion and Army veteran Beth Meinert, senior vice president, general manager, MITRE Public Sector, calls veterans an important cohort in the MITRE family. “These team members exemplify the commitment and mission focus that preserve our nation’s freedom,” she says.

Navy veteran Rick Haberlin, Ph.D., who leads the Veterans BRG and works in our national space program, echoes Meinert’s sentiments.

“I see my military career, work at MITRE, and volunteering with our veterans’ group as a continuum of service,” he says. “Leading Sailors, solving national security problems, and helping veterans in need are all critical to ensuring the country’s safety and supporting those who’ve served.”

Former Navy nurse Kim Albero, DNP, enjoys a special sense of camaraderie working alongside fellow veterans in the company. “We may have served in different branches during different conflicts and held different jobs, but we all served our country in uniform and continue to serve on a hard-working team of some of the smartest people I've ever met.”

As an analyst in our Health and Society Innovation Center, Albero assists in evaluating medical technology used to treat warfighters in combat. She’s also worked with the Veterans Benefits Agency, helping to ensure veterans receive compensation for their service-connected conditions.

“The work we do here every day impacts the lives of people across the world. Not just warfighters and veterans, but also their kids, parents and grandparents, and friends and neighbors,” Albero adds.

This culture of connection and community underscores why MITRE continues to earn recognition as a best place for veterans to work. For the second year in a row, Military Times named us to its Best for Vets: 2023 Employers list. And for our efforts to hire and support veterans, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded us the 2023 HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

A likely contributing factor in these achievements: a smooth transition from military experience to our role as a not-for-profit company serving the public good.

Christopher Kobyra served as an Army paratrooper and intelligence officer in assignments throughout the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. He now serves our government sponsors as a counterterrorism strategist—and says our mission and culture are a natural fit.

“‘Solving Problems for a Safer World’ and speed, risk taking, adaptability, and collaboration are core attributes I experienced during my time in the service,” he explains. “I continue to strive to uphold these same principles in my work at MITRE.”

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