Nonprofit NS2 Serves Trains Veterans for Boots to Suits Transition

Nobody lists “leader” as a job title, quips Zachary Barclift. While seven years in the Marine Corps made him one, the designation just wasn’t cutting it for his search at securing the perfect job.

And Brad Shedd served 21 years as an infantry soldier, retiring as a sergeant first class mortarman. Go figure—not a lot of civilian companies are hiring folks to drop rounds on enemies, jests the 41-year-old veteran.

They are among the 23 students enduring the grueling three-month training course to learn SAP Software and Solutions-certified application programs through NS2 Serves, a program that aims to ease the struggle of transitioning from boots to suits. The trainees are in week two of the program’s fifth class, which has graduated about 80 certified students, each of whom have gone on to find good-paying jobs.

With the overall veteran unemployment rate hovering around 5 percent, an estimated 500,000 veterans actively seek work across the United States. All too often, their military job skills don’t translate to the civilian sector, in spite of positive traits that often define a veteran: leadership skills, loyalty, punctuality, discipline and a drive to succeed.

SAP National Security Services established NS2 Serves, teaching the SAP software solutions used by government agencies and businesses. The program provides a monthly stipend during the training program, mid-term bonuses for those who complete requirements and pl