The Call of Duty Endowment (“the Endowment”) has announced the selection of RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity and Walking With The Wounded as the first UK recipients of the Call of Duty Endowment Seal of Distinction, the standard of excellence in the veterans’ employment sector. Winners each receive a $30,000 unrestricted grant and the opportunity to apply for additional funding, advice, and support.
“Meaningful employment is the single most important way to ensure that service members successfully transition back to civilian life,” said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. “The Seal of Distinction recognises RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity and Walking With The Wounded as go-to organisations for veterans seeking high-quality jobs and models for veteran-serving organisations to emulate.”
- RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity was Founded in 1885. Operating across the UK, they are the leading source of career advice and jobs for ex-forces. Working in partnership with other organisations and employers who respect and value the unique qualities and abilities of all those who have served, they exist to provide life-long, life-changing support, jobs and training opportunities to service leavers and veterans, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving.
- Walking With The Wounded was established in 2010 to provide a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence. Offering assistance through their programmes to veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service, they assist them through new sustainable careers outside of the military. This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System, areas which are too often ignored.
Commenting on their Seal of Distinction awards Stephen Gledhill, CEO of RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity, said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first recipients of The Call of Duty Endowment in the UK. RFEA supported 20,000 ex-forces personnel last year, providing tailored employment advice and helping them find work suited to the skills and experience of a military career. With the help of the Endowment, we’ll be able to reach even more people who need our skills in finding meaningful employment for those who have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.”
With Edward Parker, Co-Founder and CEO of Walking With The Wounded adding: “We are hugely honoured to receive this recognition and the award. Since the inception of the Endowment, we have seen the positive impact and influence it has made in the US for ex-service personnel, and I’m delighted that, as result of this expansion to the UK, now British ex-servicemen and women will also benefit from such support. This award means a great deal to the work we do, and we know what a great difference it will make.”
RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity and Walking With The Wounded join a distinguished group of non-profit organisations recognised by the Endowment for successfully serving veterans in their search for employment.
The Seal of Distinction program would not be possible without Deloitte’s support in thoroughly vetting all Seal of Distinction nominees.
Applicants for the Call of Duty Endowment Seal of Distinction must meet rigorous criteria to be considered, including opening their books to provide extensive documentation about their job placement results. The metrics assessed included a number of placements made, the average cost per placement, average starting salary, retention rates, key employee background checks, and a variety of organisational financial health indicators. All qualified applications were initially reviewed and evaluated by the Endowment’s outside advisory team. Semi-finalists were then independently assessed on a pro bono basis by Deloitte and ultimately approved by the Endowment’s Board of Directors.
Funding for Endowment programmes is made possible, in part, via the sale of The Call of Duty®: WWII – Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Bravery Pack available digitally on (PS4/XboxOne/PC). Developed by Sledgehammer Games, this digital pack includes a special Call of Duty Endowment in-game helmet, calling card, and emblem. All proceeds received by Activision, as a result of sales of these digital items to UK consumers, will go towards Endowment programmes dedicated to finding veterans high-quality work.
The Endowment’s initial goal in the US was to identify and fund best-in-class organisations to place 25,000 veterans in jobs by the end of 2018. That goal was met two years early and has subsequently and ambitiously been revised to placing 50,000 veterans into high-quality jobs by 2019. The Endowment launched its Seal of Distinction program in August 2013 and to-date has awarded more than £17 million in grants to the previous Seal of Distinction recipients, and Activision Blizzard has donated over £20 million to the effort since inception in 2009.