eamwork, Drive, Real-World Impact: Why Veterans Thrive at Johnson & Johnson
A mission-driven company that believes in the power of collaboration and teamwork to overcome obstacles and make real-world impact—that's what veterans are looking for when they transition to civilian careers, and it's what they get when they join Johnson & Johnson.
We have a proud history of support for America's armed forces, going back at least to the Spanish-American War in 1898, when we held positions for employees and continued to pay their salaries while they served. Today, that support extends all the way to the top. Our Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky is a veteran who spent six years in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of captain.
Beyond offering best-in-class military leave benefits, we're also taking steps proactively to ensure that veterans at Johnson & Johnson are empowered with everything they need to thrive. Here's what that support looks like every day, as seen through the eyes of three Johnson & Johnson employees.
Yolanda's Story: "I'm Passionate About All of the Ways We Support Veterans"
For Yolanda Carter, family has always come first. So when she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army—a role that took her far away from her own family in Alabama—she took solace in the feeling that she had acquired a second family, one defined by pride in a shared mission and the desire to serve a greater good. Yolanda thrived in this environment.
When it was time to transition back to civilian life, Yolanda naturally sought a similar place—somewhere she could be challenged, fulfill a broader sense of purpose and tackle dynamic projects in a collaborative team setting. At Johnson & Johnson, she found all of that and more.
In 2008, Yolanda joined Ethicon, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of companies. She became an eager participant in our Veterans Leadership Council (VLC), an active community of military veterans and one of our larger Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). The VLC organizes and coordinates a wide range of volunteer opportunities and events on an ongoing basis, with everything from charity races to home-building projects and community picnics.
“My work at Ethicon and the VLC is really a merger of two beloved families: the Army, my first professional family, and Johnson & Johnson, my new professional family,” Yolanda said. “Being able to merge those two has been really amazing."
"I'm passionate about all of the ways we support veterans. Being part of those efforts has truly been an honor.”
Jeffrey's Story: "An Inspiration and an Anchor for All Employees"
Jeffrey Daniel was an outstanding athlete as an undergraduate at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, playing football and running track. After five years as a naval supply officer, Jeffrey joined Ethicon, where today he’s a Senior Manager in Product Management.
However, just when Jeffrey's career was starting to take off, a seemingly innocuous mosquito bite turned into a near-fatal case of West Nile virus. Jeffrey fell into a coma; when he came to, he was restricted to a wheelchair. The active and athletic young soldier was now facing a long and painful recovery.
But that’s when members of the VLC rallied around Jeffrey, giving him much-needed support at a critical moment in his life. Slowly over time, he regained his ability to walk.
“The camaraderie in the military is something you have to experience to truly understand," Jeffrey said. "The VLC really captures that spirit. It’s an environment where veterans can support each other and share their experiences—and maybe tease each other a little bit, too. I see it as an inspiration and an anchor for all employees."
David's Story: "A Role That Plays to My Strengths"
We're actively recruiting veterans, because we know their resiliency and the diversity of experiences, in addition to their proven collaboration and problem-solving skills, can help us continue to innovate and thrive in a disruptive and rapidly changing healthcare landscape. We can count on veterans to take on these challenges.
Take David Persons. Having served for 20 years as a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps, David decided it was time to transition to a career in the private sector. When he attended a military recruiting event, he met recruiters from Johnson & Johnson who were so impressed by his leadership experience and engineering background that they invited him back for an interview the very next day. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, David is a Lead Development Engineer in the robotics department at Ethicon, and he couldn’t be happier about it. “The company has put me in a role that plays to my strengths,” he said. “I think Johnson & Johnson as a whole is very, very military-friendly. The company is eager to bring veterans on board and conscientious about how we're given assignments and how we're integrated into the company. It’s really refreshing.”
Just like Yolanda and Jeffrey, David has been an active member of the VLC ever since he joined the Johnson & Johnson team. “The VLC is invaluable,” David said. “I have a special relationship with everyone in the group."
Join Johnson & Johnson Today
When veterans apply their expertise to our collective purpose, there's no end to the impact we can make together—as the stories of Yolanda, Jeffrey, David, Lara Hamade and many others tell us. Check out all of the opportunities we have available today. We can’t wait to meet you!