By Craig Cowman, Executive Vice President, Global Sourcing and Chief Procurement Officer
Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. – and known around the world as Armed Forces Day, Armistice Day, Army Day, Remembrance Day and others. This a day to pause and reflect on the sacrifices our military personnel have made to protect the freedoms that we so often take for granted. I am deeply grateful to our service members and their families for their patriotism and valor, and proud to work for a company that honors them in return.
At Cardinal Health, we are committed to supporting the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. From assisting transitioning veterans to the civilian workplace to providing training and development as veterans build their careers here, we are honored to serve those who have so bravely served our country. (Learn more about how we support veterans in their careers here.)
Those who have served in the military have values that can’t be taught – values like duty, honor, integrity and collaboration. Veterans are mission-driven and have the passion, commitment and leadership skills that make them invaluable in the workplace. Tellingly, 21% of all Cardinal Health’s high performers in the past year were veterans.
We actively recruit and hire veterans and encourage other employers to do the same. Our recruiting team and our business leaders regularly attend events geared toward veteran recruitment and networking, and we post open positions on job boards for the military and returning veterans.
We know it can be challenging to transition from the military to the corporate world. That is why Cardinal Health offers a free Veterans Professional Advancement Course (VPAC) for separated and soon-to-be separated service members and their spouses who are seeking employment. This is a professional development and mentoring program, created by veterans and designed to provide the skills to transition successfully and smoothly into the civilian workplace.
For the past several years, we have been tracking how many of our U.S. employees serve or have served in the military. As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, our self-identification program helps us to understand how we can best support veterans and employees in other underrepresented categories, enhance employee engagement and increase retention. Ultimately, this helps us toward our goal of creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can bring 100% of themselves to work every day. To date, nearly 1,000 employees have self-identified as veterans or active service members.
Our work to foster the careers of veterans was recognized several years ago, when Cardinal Health was awarded the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award – the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of employees serving in the National Guard and reserves.
As the son of a Marine, Veterans Day has always held deep meaning for me. That is why I’m especially proud to serve as the executive sponsor of Cardinal Health’s Veterans and Military Advocates (VMA) employee resource group (ERG). The VMA is a diverse and inclusive organization of employees whose goal is to continue the spirit of service by supporting each other, the Cardinal Health mission and veteran-aligned causes in our communities. It offers a variety of programs to further veteran retention at Cardinal Health.
I’m also proud that Cardinal Health contributed significantly to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. This is the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to all our nation’s veterans from all branches of service and from our entire history of military service. I’m honored to serve on its board of directors.
As a company, we know that we are better for the veterans we hire, and for the support we provide to veterans everywhere. This Veterans Day and every day, we honor all veterans for their service, and thank them for a generosity that we cannot ever repay.
As Executive Vice President, Global Sourcing and Chief Procurement Officer, Craig Cowman manages strategic sourcing and supplier management enterprise wide. He leads the teams responsible for sourcing pharmaceuticals and medical products across national brands, generic pharmaceutical, and indirect goods.