Veterans Find Their Home in Hospitality

veteran employees

It is no surprise that veterans are attracted to hotel life. From building teams to servicing guests, those who have served in the military often have what it takes to succeed in hospitality. Currently, the hotel industry has nearly 110,000 open positions and is eager to hire veterans and their family members.

With specialized positions that are parallel to positions in the military like engineering, IT, and operations, hospitality is a natural fit for veterans.

“We have 20 veterans on our team, and we are always looking for more,” said Omni Atlanta General Manager Ramon Reyes. “It’s an easy transition because they are passionate about serving others.“ 

Omni Atlanta Director of Engineering Mike Phillips spent 20 years in the Navy as an electrician and continues to draw on his military background at the hotel. From keeping up with daily hotel repairs to working on large-scale maintenance projects, he relies on the skills he sharpened in the military to keep the hotel in tiptop shape. “He runs this hotel as a naval ship, in a pristine manner,” said Reyes. 

In the military, teamwork is critical for success. This also rings true in hospitality. When looking for new team members, Mike often tries to hire veterans because they come with the same work ethic and set of values from their time in uniform.

Veterans are accustomed to an environment built on teamwork, commitment, and service, making them an ideal candidate for a variety of front- and back-of-house positions.

The hotel industry is a great place to be… They look for veterans because they already know how to work under pressure. I am an old school Navy guy… The camaraderie in the military is tight, but it also is at this hotel. I could tell right away it is the place to be.


Hotel restaurant sous chef Kinetra Watson served in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years in Baltimore as a petty officer. Kinetra’s desire to work in the service industry began then – and continued a lifelong love affair with helping others.

Like the military, no two days are the same – which keeps it interesting and fun. I love hospitality because it allows me to do what I’m great at as well as allow other people to show their best sides… Everyone has each other’s backs.