LinkedIn Earns MOAA Award for Commitment to Transitioning Troops, Spouses

LinkedIn Earns MOAA Award for Commitment to Transitioning Troops, Spouses

[Note from MOAA: LinkedIn is a recipient of MOAA's Distinguished Service Award, honoring organizations that support servicemembers and the wider military community. Read about all our 2019 award winners here.]

By Kristin Davis

In 2011, when unemployment for post-9/11 veterans surged to more than 13 percent, then-President Barack Obama summoned a group of corporate leaders to the White House with a challenge: Hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses within two years.

LinkedIn, a professional networking site with hundreds of millions of users, was among the businesses in attendance that took the call to heart. The company began by offering servicemembers and veterans free upgrades to LinkedIn Premium for a year. The upgrade, which costs most users $29.95 a month or more, includes a library of more than 10,000 business, technical, and creative courses on LinkedIn Learning.

They gave out 95,000 free upgrades last year alone, says Dan Savage, LinkedIn's head of Military and Veterans Programs.

“It started with that moment of national crisis when veteran unemployment was high and the economy was in a much different place,” says Savage, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and five-year infantry officer who spent 15 months in Baghdad during the surge.

LinkedIn wanted to do its part. Fueled by patriotism and a desire to give back to those who serve, the company has since expanded its veteran offerings to include a host of programming and resources, with courses on translating military experience to civilian employment, finding purpose after active duty, and transitioning from the military to student and civilian life.

LinkedIn also has forged partnerships with DoD, the VA, and the Department of Labor, as well as with a host of nonprofits, including Hiring Our Heroes, Student Veterans of America, the USO, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. The latter partnership recently resulted in a webinar on the top things veterans need to know for a successful transition.

The company also has recently expanded many of its offerings to military spouses.

LinkedIn's commitment to the military and veteran community has earned the company a 2019 Distinguished Service Award from MOAA.

“It is a great honor, but it also comes with a responsibility to live up to what MOAA has seen in us,” Savage says. “It's a charge to continue growing our programs.”

For all that LinkedIn has to offer, veterans themselves remain the most valuable resource, Savage says. Some 2.5 million veterans are members. They are twice as likely as the average user to engage monthly on the site and have more connections.

“They all strongly believe in the notion of leave no soldier behind,” Savage says. On LinkedIn, “veterans reach out to other veterans for connections, advice and support.”

Related reading: MOAA's 2019 Award Winners.

Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe

Sen. Jon Tester

Distinguished Service Award

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Dana Bowman


Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award

Former Staff Sgt. Ray Kelley

Tony McClain

Retired Lt. Col. Dan Sennott