ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Rebekah Stroman, Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Rebekah Stroman
Washington, D.C.
Senior Manager, Business and State Engagement, Hiring Our Heroes
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Please tell us a little about yourself, your background and your position.
I joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as Senior Manager of Business and State Engagement for Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) in January 2014. In this role, I work alongside the program director to coordinate with small businesses, local chambers of commerce and regional business alliances to promote Hiring Our Heroes initiatives. I focus primarily on engaging businesses to develop recruitment and retention initiatives through the identification of best practices and the promotion of HOH resources, including the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign and veteran and military spouse hiring fairs. In addition, I work on the state-level with government and VA officials to promote the All*Vet States program within HOH and am actively developing a wounded service member and caregiver employment initiative for the organization.

Prior to my time with the Foundation, I served in the Executive Office at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for three years. While in this capacity, I worked as an assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer as well as executive assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. Prior roles in Washington, D.C., include positions within the legal, defense contracting and government lobbying industries.

I hold a Master of Arts degree in National Security Policy and Intelligence from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. In addition, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Clemson University in South Carolina, after completing my first two years of military education at the U.S. Naval Academy. I live in Arlington, VA, where I am an active member of Team Red White Blue (RWB) as an Ironman and competitive long-distance triathlete.

How did you become involved with the Army?
In the winter of 2013, I was seriously debating a possible re-enlistment in the military – this time with the Army Reserve. There were a few hoops to jump through, coming from a prior Navy background, and in the meantime, I was transferred to a different program and position at my organization. Now I was dealing directly with the Army Reserve from a civilian perspective; instead of the boots-on-ground plan I had originally thought of a year prior. While I always like to keep my options open, I do believe there are many ways to serve your country and this is one of them.

How has your partnership with the Army made a difference to your organization?
Hiring Our Heroes was created to help give veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses meaningful employment opportunities. Because of the breadth and depth of the Army, our partnership has allowed Hiring Our Heroes to reach a greater audience of transitioning service members and provide them with fantastic civilian workforce opportunities earlier in the transition period. This strong partnership allows the Army to continue to take care of its Soldiers even after they transition out of the military, because the Army has ensured its Soldiers’ ability to thrive in a civilian career.

Why do you feel military service should be considered a viable post-secondary option?
Young people graduating from high school don’t always have a solid idea of what they would like to do with their future – and it is often a lot to ask of someone to have it all figured out by the time you get your diploma. Joining the military is not only an honorable thing to do, but it is probably the best institution as a whole for creating grounded, committed and productive members of society. Personally, I have missed being in the service every day that I have not been in, and I know many service members feel the same way. The military not only helps mold you into a better person, but it also teaches you invaluable skills that you cannot learn elsewhere. It changes your life for the better, and I truly believe it creates stronger and more self-confident young people. Those skills only translate into a better civilian future down the road.


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