Modesto, California resident Steve Cordova credits his extensive military career for helping him find, and perform with excellence, his new career in home inspection. Cordova was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force for 24 years. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Upon arriving home, he had some decisions to make. “I always had the ambition to operate my own business and the military provided me with the tools and discipline necessary to fulfill this dream,” said Cordova. With some research, due diligence and good old-fashioned networking, Cordova came upon the career, and the franchise system, he wanted to be a part of.

Indeed, Cordova is a poster child for what Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®, currently North America’s No. 1 home inspection franchise, is looking for in a veteran. According to the popular franchisor, approximately 30% of new franchisees have a military background. The company enjoys 5-star status with VetFran, an initiative program of the International Franchise Association. Hundreds of franchisors offer this program to help former military members reach a path to success with businesses of their own. Only a few reach 5-star status with the program.

“With Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ startup program and franchisee support system, I knew that achieving my goal was obtainable. I look forward to what the future brings and the challenges ahead because I know that with the foundation the military has given me and the corporate team at my side, I will be successful.” The 43-year-old Cordova’s business services California’s Central Valley.

Another super star veteran in franchising is Edison Recinos, franchise owner of Paul Davis Restoration of The Gables, operating in the Miami, Florida area. Recinos said what he learned in the military has played a crucial role in his business success.

“The military taught me to never stand still, always be looking a few steps ahead,” the 40-year-old said. “That has been essential in these times. Being able to adjust quickly has allowed us to adapt rapidly to new standards and to the needs of our clients. We are not only surviving but thriving during the pandemic. Lack of fear and the eagerness to try new things, and adjust quickly, has been a big part of our success.”

It’s hard to be scared when you’ve experienced what Recinos did while serving in the Marines from 2000 to 2007. He joined the Marines for education and travel opportunities, but little did Recinos know that the Iraq War was going to begin in 2003. Serving as a Sergeant in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Recinos’ unit conducted amphibious operations, emergency embassy evacuations and had Special Operations designation. He led many raids and missions in combat operations in numerous locations throughout Iraq. And despite his duties that continually put him in harm’s way, Recinos was still able to travel the world.

Military service gave him the confidence to go forward and succeed no matter what challenge he faced. “It provided me the can-do attitude; the ability to adapt and overcome,” Recinos said. “Life will always throw things at you and the military taught me how to zig and zag. I use many of the skills I was taught in the military; skills such as always finding a way, pushing forward and never giving up.”

In 2010 Recinos entered the insurance industry and traveled the country working in catastrophe response. “I learned a lot about construction, contractors and different restoration companies,” Recinos said. That’s also when he got his first exposure to Paul Davis Restoration, which has been at the forefront of innovation in the property damage, emergency services and restoration industry since 1966.

“I had a lot of experiences with Paul Davis in my insurance job and I began to look into them as an opportunity,” Recinos said. “I decided it must be a pretty good company if I keep issuing payments to them, so I began to get serious about the idea of owning my own franchise.”

With 275 plus locations in the US and Canada, Paul Davis is continually growing, and it seems like a perfect fit for individuals who have a background similar to Recinos and are looking to either own or work for a local franchise. “I opened my franchise in Miami in September 2014 and I have been here ever since,” Recinos said.

According to a survey conducted by the International Franchise Association in October of 2014, 203,890 veterans started careers in franchising since 2011 and that count is only representative of those years. Six years have passed and no doubt many more veterans have found great careers and opportunities in franchising. It’s no mystery why veterans do so well. According to the same survey 99% of the franchisors who took part indicated that veterans were very good employees, while 97% of the same group stated that veterans made terrific franchisees/business owners.

Photo: Steven Cordova of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Rhonda Sanderson is an expert and author in franchising and is the founder of Sanderson PR and #FranchiseStars. Reach her @SandersonPR