75% of Patriot Group International’s workforce are veterans
Ever since Army veteran Greg Craddock founded Patriot Group International, his fellow veterans have been foremost in his thoughts.
“The leadership of our company is comprised almost 100% of veterans,” says Craddock, CEO of the Warrenton-based defense contractor. “We’ve always been committed to giving back and doing more for that community in particular.”
In doing so, Craddock developed a company that employs former service members in a corporate culture that places a high value on integrity, quality and innovation. Craddock served as an Army Ranger and special operations forces non-commissioned officer (NCO) before 9/11. He later worked in the intelligence community and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the U.S. wars there in the early 2000s.
PGI has offered mission support to intelligence, defense and private sector clients since 2004. As a federal contractor, its work can often involve sensitive and confidential information, requiring reliable employees with the type of integrity that PGI cultivates in its workforce.
“Since we began the business, we tried to build an organization that was based on mutual respect,” Craddock says. “Some of the tasks that we have to perform from an execution standpoint are difficult and many of our personnel are oftentimes overseas and sometimes in harm’s way. We try to always be respectful of that.”
As a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) company, PGI is committed to hiring veterans, who make up about 75% of the Patriot Group’s 501-person workforce, Craddock says. PGI employs 158 full-time, salaried workers, 44 of whom work in Virginia.
Not all organizations are eligible to be in the V3 state program, which requires employers to commit to hiring veterans based on company size. To be certified, companies complete training in recruiting, hiring and retaining vets. Since the program was established in 2012, Virginia companies have hired more than 33,000 veterans. V3 companies can qualify for up to $10,000 in grants, with $1,000 being awarded per eligible veteran hired.
PGI has established a pipeline to recruit veterans from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the military installation at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“We go through an extensive process to select [our employees],” Craddock says. “That starts with an evaluation of their integrity, their background and whether they’re a good fit with the chemistry of the team that we have in place.” Most importantly, Craddock looks for personnel with military backgrounds who demonstrate traits such as integrity and mutual respect.
“We really respect the skillset and knowledge base that all of our folks bring to the table,” Craddock says. “We try to encourage people to contribute to the overall solutions.”
Because PGI relies heavily on independent contractors to carry out its work, its number of employees fluctuates and it also relies on independent contractors for labor.
PGI bids on highly competitive federal government contracts, which makes the quality of its employees and their skills of the utmost importance.
Aside from hiring veterans, PGI also supports many military-centric organizations, including Boulder Crest Retreat, a resort that helps combat vets heal from physical or psychological wounds; American Freedom Foundation, which aids veterans in finding employment; and GallantFew, which assists veterans with transitioning into civilian life.
This sort of commitment builds respect and pride among the armed forces veterans who make up the majority of PGI’s workforce.
“I always say that we’re a mission-focused company,” Craddock says. “Some of the things we’re entrusted to do rely on being able to put forward a professional workforce that respects the mission and is dedicated to its accomplishment.”