In advance of US Veterans Day this coming Monday, Starbucks has announced a commitment to hire at least 10,000 military veterans and spouses of active military within the next five years. The coffee chain hopes to tap into the large pool of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan. "[Veterans] bring an understanding of other cultures and they're accustomed to working with diverse and international partners," explained Starbucks director Robert Gates, former US Defense Secretary."This demographic represents one of the most underutilized talent pools in our country."

The move expands on the mentoring program the chain already operates through the Armed Forces Network; specialized recruiters will be brought in to facilitate placement within the company. "This is not only about hiring baristas," Chief Executive Howard Schultz told Reuters. The company has been expanding rapidly, with plans for 20,000 stores worldwide by 2014. Veterans' experience with "building and managing complex, global supply chains" would help facilitate growth around the world as well as nationally. Hopefully this and similar initiatives can also bring down the high unemployment rates that plague veterans in this country.

In addition to the new hiring spree, the Seattle-based chain will operate five revenue-sharing stores close by to military bases. The company will donate 10 cents from every sale to locally-affiliated charities, starting with Goodwill Industries International Inc programs Operation Good Jobs, in San Antonio, Texas and Vested in Vets, in Lakewood, Washington.