initiatives: soldiers

Active Duty Military and Veterans

Active duty military personnel make great sacrifices to protect us and preserve our many freedoms, and so do their families. While serving in our military is a highly honorable profession, the pay is modest, the hours are long, the work is dangerous and for many, the job requires lengthy periods of family separation. When military service ends, veterans find that the transition back to civilian life presents a new set of issues such as finding suitable employment, and, for some new veterans, overcoming the challenges of physical and mental injuries sustained in combat.

Our veteran and active duty military families need and deserve our support. Hillier Ignite is focusing on two of the areas where help is most needed: veteran unemployment and military family support. Both directly and through partnerships with other organizations, we focus on providing career and educational opportunities by creating greater awareness of the benefits of hiring veterans, assisting veterans in the development of entrepreneurial businesses, and providing college tuition assistance to military families.

The Ignite Scholarship for Military Families aims to expand higher education opportunities for children and spouses of veterans and active-duty soldiers by providing the financial support needed to earn a college degree. Military families who have made sacrifices while their loved ones serve our country too often find themselves limited by a lack of resources and opportunities, especially to advance their education. With the costs of higher education continuously rising, the challenge becomes even greater for military families who may be struggling financially to invest in the valuable education opportunities they deserve.

Hillier Ignite’s current military family scholarship initiative is the ADS, Inc. Fund for Children of Naval Special Warfare, a 2:1 matching grant to the Navy SEAL Foundation, established in honor of the 22 active-duty Naval Special Warfare forces who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, to ensure support to the 12 spouses and 26 children they left behind.

Executed through with Luke’s company ADS, the program expands the assistance that the Navy SEAL Foundation provides for children of U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen and Naval Special Warfare support personnel who have been injured or killed in the line of duty.

The Ignite Accelerator for Lifesaving Innovation assists entrepreneurs (many of whom are veterans) develop ideas in an area that is outside of the mainstream of entrepreneurial/start-up businesses – lifesaving innovations. Its goal is to increase entrepreneurial activity to increase the number of lifesaving innovations that can benefit military personnel and first-responders – preserving freedom by creating economic opportunity as well as better protecting those who defend it.

Executed in partnership with Luke Hillier’s company ADS, the Ignite Accelerator for Lifesaving Innovation provides business and product-related mentoring to entrepreneurs with lifesaving innovation concepts, and in certain cases offers seed capital and access to Luke’s and ADS’ extensive network of manufacturing and distribution partners who might be interested in the product. Prospective entrepreneurs with lifesaving innovation concepts who would like to find out more about the program should click here to get in touch with Ignite

The Ignite Warrior for Warriors Award is a $25,000 cash award and recognition program celebrating a person or organization selected by Hillier Ignite that has provided significant support to veterans in overcoming the challenges relating to the transition to civilian life or the challenges faced by family members of active duty soldiers while deployed. The award is presented at the ADS Warrior Expo East, in Virginia Beach, VA in July, an event that brings end users, program managers, and procurement specialists together with industry-leading manufacturers in an environment designed specifically for government and defense organizations.