The Joining Forces Initiative celebrated its 5th anniversary today. The initiative attempts to ensure that service members, veterans, and spouses can find employment, education, and health benefits in return for their dedication to the country. One of the guest speakers at the Joining Forces event was Michelle Obama, who shared that Microsoft is one of 40 companies that have pledged to support the initiative by hiring veterans and military spouses over the course of the next five years.
One such veteran was given the highest honor of being addressed at the White House during the event. Another note of her speech included the praise of Ryen Macababbad’s service in the Army. Not only that, but the first lady honored her ambitious attitude and development on the Azure Active Directory at Microsoft.
Ryen Macababbad always had a passion for being a ‘computer nerd’. She served for a total of 8 years in the Army, once being deployed into Iraq and another time being sent to Afghanistan. It was there that she knew that being in the midst of the battle wasn’t where she could best serve her country. After she retired, Macababbad was concerned about how she was going to make ends meet. Finding jobs wasn’t the easiest for returning veterans because the skills they learn are so unique to that lifestyle. After seeing a flyer for the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), Ryen knew she wanted to pursue her passion for technology once again. She graduated and joined the Microsoft team to work with the Azure cloud service.
She graduated and joined the Microsoft team to work with the Azure cloud service. “I really wanted to be a part of the next new thing, the thing that was going to touch everything, and I feel that’s what Microsoft Azure is: It’s going to touch everything.” She wrote in a Microsoft Military Affairs blog post.
Thanks to Microsoft and the Joining Forces Initiative, many more veterans like Ryen Macababbad will be able to return from war with job opportunities and hope to continue affecting the future.