Photo Courtesy of Uber

Photo Courtesy of Uber

Acknowledging the difficulty some members of the military face transitioning from military life to civilian life – under the new program UberMILITARY – the start-up plans to hire 50,000 members of the military community over the next 18 months.

Uber has teamed up with former Secretary of Defense; Dr. Robert Gates who will serve as chairman of the UberMILITARY advisory board, which will expand to include representatives from all branches of the military.

Dr. Gates and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told Politico Magazine, they believe 21.4% of the veterans under 25 and 25% of military spouses are either unemployed or underemployed because companies don’t understand how the skills they’ve learned in service can translate into civilian life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the military community is three times higher than the national average. Uber says it hopes the new initiative will not only improve the unemployment rate but also empower members of the community to be their own bosses.

“UberMILITARY is a reflection that high-quality service, an unparalleled commitment to safety and the leadership potential inherent to small business entrepreneurship are values shared by those who have selflessly served our country,” said Gates and Kalanick.

Uber is also partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Hiring Our Heroes to recruit military members through job fairs. Incentives such as free rides, discounted rides to and from base, referral bonuses and special financing for military members who don’t own cars – which is a requirement to drive for Uber.

The company has also noticed that veterans tend to receive higher rankings than its other drivers, which is a great incentive for hiring more military members.

For more information on UberMILITARY, visit