Edward Jones introduced a program that trains military veteran to be financial advisors.

The first-of-its-kind program for military veterans, which the St. Louis company is calling FORCES, features enhanced training and mentoring, and structured compensation packaged designed for veterans. It also meets federal requirements for on-the-job training under the G.I. Bill.

"Edward Jones has a long history of hiring veterans because they make excellent financial advisors," said Jim Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones. "Currently more than 11% of our financial advisors … are veterans and that's a number we'd like to increase. The skills and discipline embraced in the military are absolutely transferable to a career as a financial advisor." 

Tapping benefits under the G.I. Bill is not a requirement of the program, but it is an option for those who qualify. The amount of benefits available is determined by factors including Chapter of Entitlement, years of service and, under Chapter 33, location of employer, and is paid directly to the veteran during the initial six months of employment and training with Edward Jones.

Each State must approve the program for use. So far, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Veterans Education and Training Section has approved the program. Edward Jones says that other states are in the process of reviewing the program. 

The FORCES program is designed for people without a financial services background. Those eligible for the program include veterans and qualifying dependents with G.I. Bill entitlement/OJT benefits as well as non-military population holding advanced degrees such as a legal or medical degree or those with an MBA and who have less than three years of professional work experience.

“The unemployment rates among veterans is an alarming issue. It remains a sobering fact that many of those who have served their country return home without a path for gainful employment and a successful career,” said Chad Schatz, President of the National Association of State Approving Agencies and Director of the Missouri Veterans Education and Training Section and SAA.  “Edward Jones has developed a unique program to make it easier for veterans to transition to a meaningful and desirable career.”

According to research conducted by Edward Jones, 90% of individuals surveyed believe skills gained in the military are transferable to post-military careers and nearly 60% believe those skills are specifically applicable to a career as a financial advisor.