For many veterans who served as medics or hospital corpsman in the military, finding a civilian job can be a challenge. By one estimate, half of those talented veterans now looking for work in the health care industry are being turned away. While they have the training and experience from their time in the service, they don’t have the accreditation needed to secure jobs at home.

To mark Military Appreciation Month, the nonprofit Call of Duty Endowment has launched the #CODEMedicalHeroes campaign to bring the issue to light, and its using the popular video game Call of Duty: Warzone to spread the word.

Lack of Universal Accreditation Standards

“This month, we’re highlighting the work of medics and corpsmen and we’re going to continue to push on that until our society makes it right. If the feeling it engenders is righteous indignation, it should, because we need these people. These people have so much to offer. We’ve paid for their training, it’s time to let them put it to use.”

Those words from Dan Goldenberg, executive director of the Call of Duty Endowment and this week’s guest on the Work in Progress podcast.

Goldenberg explains, at a minimum, every medic receives at least $100 thousand in basic medical training before they even start their specialized training in the military, but there are barriers to the veterans being able to turn that experience into a civilian job.

“Medics and corpsman are more trained up than an EMT (emergency medical technician), but not as trained up as a nurse. You would think every single graduate…should at least be able to ride in the back of an ambulance as an EMT. They are certainly qualified—overqualified and trained—to do that role, but (there is) no licensure in every single state that’s universally accepted.”

Goldenberg says the Call of Duty Endowment’s ultimate goal is to break down the state-by-state certification barriers and ease the transition for qualified veterans into good-paying jobs in the medical field.

“They shouldn’t have to take new coursework. They shouldn’t have to pay licensure fees. They should simply be able to pass a test that proves their knowledge and be able to have the credential. That’s at the most basic level of what we’d like to see.”

#CODEMedical Heroes

The Call of Duty Endowment was co-founded 11 years ago by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, to help place veterans in high-quality careers and to bring awareness to the value veterans bring to the workplace. The nonprofit will be using the connection to the video game company to share its message.

In Warzone, “any player who revives five other players during the month of May will get an end game calling card. Then for every challenge completed, basically every player who does this, the company will donate a dollar to the endowment up to $1 million,” says Goldenberg.

The #CODEMedicalHeroes campaign also worked with a retired combat medic to co-create an end game pack that players can buy, with all the proceeds going to support the Endowment’s veteran employment efforts. “We’re hoping to raise $2 million from that. Last year, our average cost to place a veteran in the job was $515, so we’re talking about thousands of veterans that we’ll be able to place through this funding.”

The third part of the campaign is to raise awareness through PSAs, the Activision Games blog, and through conversations like the one we have in this podcast.

You can listen to the entire podcast here, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Download the transcript for this Work in Progress podcast here.

Episode 182: Dan Goldenberg, executive director, The Call of Duty Endowment
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, editor-in-chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan LynchMelissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts