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Company Values Military Experience in Employees

Staff Sgt. Michael J Carden, Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The strong work ethic and discipline gleaned from military service fit perfectly in the subsea oil company's work force, Michael King, the company's public relations manager, said.

FMC's enthusiasm for recruiting former and part-time military members has earned the company recognition as one of the country's most supportive employers of reserve-component troops. FMC is one of 15 recipients this year set to receive the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the U.S. government's highest honor given to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

Company officials frequently participate in job fairs and career conferences in military communities. They also actively recruit military service academy graduates, regularly attending career conferences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo., King said.

In 2005, FMC employed five service academy graduates. Today, it employs 33. Also, 170 of the company's 4,000 North American employees are former members of the military, while at least 20 are active reserve-component members. Three reservist employees are deployed to Afghanistan, he said.

Both the company and its employees with military experience benefit from the partnership and mutual commitment, King said. With military-experienced employees, FMC gains "dedicated and disciplined employees that are naturally driven," he said.

"For the military person, the structure- and process-driven environment is one that allows for both individual and team success," he added.

FMC also takes pride in knowing it helps to reduce stress servicemembers may otherwise incur transitioning into the civilian work force as well as in juggling part-time military responsibilities, King said.

"The working environment at FMC is one of safety, honesty and high ethics," he said. "These are the same characteristics that describe our military environment. Individuals with a military background, including those being discharged and returning to civilian life, routinely comment on the ease of transition, since FMC possesses many of the disciplines and work ethics that are taught in the military."

The core values of each organization are very similar and complement each other's high performance standards and commitment to responsibility, he said. The individual employee and mission always come first, which translates into steadfast support and encouragement by the company for its reserve-component employees, he said.

FMC puts a great deal of emphasis on the care part-time servicemembers and their families receive when the employee is called away for military duties, King said. FMC compensates the difference between civilian and military pay while employees are mobilized for more than 12 months. Also, family members of such employees receive continuations of their health, dental and life insurance benefits, he added.

"It is only natural that if a military member and his or her family are cared for, that the military member continues to feel a sense of family and belonging to FMC," he said. "When they are deployed, it also offers a level of comfort in knowing that their employer is taking steps to help their family during their departure. This sense of belonging cascades throughout the organization, and is an intrinsic value of FMC."

Defense Department officials established the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve program in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve-component members and their civilian employers, and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.

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