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Thank You for Your Service – 100,000 Times Over

The placement of 100,000 veterans in high-quality careers is a significant milestone in our ongoing work. In total the Call of Duty Endowment’s efforts have achieved an estimated $5.6 Billion in economic value for US and UK veterans

by Brian Bulatao on May 03, 2022

Today we announced that we have funded the placement of over 100,000 veterans into meaningful employment. As a veteran myself, I am incredibly proud of our Endowment, our grantees, the players who contribute to the cause through our games, and I’m especially proud of the scores of Activision Blizzard employees who volunteer their time and talents to the Endowment each year.

Founded in 2009, the Call of Duty Endowment was born out of a conversation between Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick, and former Veterans Affairs Secretary, Jim Nicholson. For Bobby, this interaction ignited a need to better understand the joblessness issues facing U.S. veterans. At the macro-level, among other things, he learned that over a third of the service members returning to civilian life at the time, couldn’t find jobs. Soon after, he co-founded the Call of Duty Endowment with the mission to place veterans in high-quality careers.

A singular focus on purpose-driven outcomes

It is well established that securing high-quality employment is the single most valuable element of support that can enable a successful transition for veterans. From the start, our approach has been deliberate and immersive – understand an issue from all points of view, focus our resources on the root causes, and scale up for impact by driving accountability at all levels of the social value chain. In 2021, the Endowment placed veterans in jobs with starting salaries of more than $64,000, which is almost double the national average. We do this at a cost per placement that is 1/10th of U.S. Government programs. While this is game changing, especially for our veterans, there is so much more to be done. 

The Call of Duty Endowment exists on a strong framework that is purpose-built. Our Seal of Distinction program is designed to help us evaluate and identify - from more than 44,000 non-profit veteran-focused organizations - those that quantitatively demonstrate the highest performance in getting veterans back to work in high-quality careers. Once identified, we robustly fund these organizations, mentor their leadership, and help them grow and become better stewards of our collective mission.

Advocating for a better system that serves veterans

While supporting the pipeline of transitioning veterans seeking meaningful employment sits at the core of what we do, we are also actively advocating at the federal, state and grassroot levels to inform and educate policymakers to act on common sense licensure requirements that can greatly ease meaningful transitions, while also addressing significant talent gaps in critical fields.

There will always be more to do, but today I’d like to pause to celebrate an important achievement. The Call of Duty Endowment has placed over 100,000 veterans in quality jobs almost 2-years ahead of its stated goal. I am equally energized by the high-performance framework that’s been built and tested and will enable us to continue to set our sights higher to better serve our veterans.

We intend to accelerate our impact at this important time for veterans, and today, we committed an additional $30 million to fund new veteran employment initiatives over the next five years, with the goal of generating another 50,000 job placements through the Endowment grants.

'Thank you for your service!', a platitude that is often bandied about, feels so much more meaningful today as it reflects the collective efforts of so many who make it their mission to help our veterans land on their feet, thereby making it easier to navigate the unpredictable transition to civilian life.

About the Author: 

Brian Bulatao - Chief Administrative Officer, Activision Blizzard

Brian Bulatao has served as Chief Administrative Officer of Activision Blizzard since March 2021. Brian oversees the Call of Duty Endowment as well as key administrative functions including Corporate Social Responsibility activities across Activision Blizzard, HR, IT, Workplace, and Information and Physical Security. He also has management responsibility for our Consumer Products Group as well as CentreSoft, our European Distribution and Logistics business, and will be the Executive Sponsor for the Veteran’s Employee Network.

Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Brian served in government as the Under Secretary of State for Management and prior to that as the Chief Operating Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. Before joining the CIA, Brian worked in the Private Equity industry, both as a founding partner and senior advisor, and focused on middle market growth buyouts. Early in his career, he served as an airborne infantry officer leading units on several contingency operations across the globe. 

Brian is a distinguished graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his leadership and significant contributions to national security. 

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