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The battle-tested thrive at Amazon

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

The armed forces rely on logistics, and so does Amazon.

Over time, it dawned on the online retailer that the people so capably running its 34 warehouses have a military “bias for action” as well as hands-on experience in moving stuff around.

In 2011, a quarter of new salaried employees hired by Amazon’s fulfillment centers were ex-military, giving the firm a rank of No. 1 among military-friendly em­­ployers, according to G.I. Jobs magazine.

Examples: Dennis Clancey, 29, graduated from West Point and served as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq before scanning the skies for missiles at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command in Colorado Springs. He was attracted to Amazon’s holiday rush.

Veterans have “a standard of leadership that is different from someone right out of college,” says Josh Teeter, an Arabic linguist in the Army before choosing Amazon over a job as a CIA contractor. With a service-oriented approach, vets “understand that it’s not about them,” he says. Plus, “once a year you get to deliver Christmas.”

— Adapted from “How Amazon Learned to Love Veterans,” Adam Lashinsky, Fortune.

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