USAA employee Roxanne L, facilitator – talent development, has experienced deployment from a military spouse perspective. Her journey as a military spouse started in 2017 when her husband began active duty in the U.S. Navy.
Yesterday we honored all service members who have deployed in service of our country, and there are several employees who continue their military service while at USAA. Currently, we have 58 USAA employees who are on military leave. Typically, anywhere from 50 to 100 employees are on military leave at any one time.
Chon T., USAA director, marketing technology, has deployed multiple times with the U.S. Navy Reserves while working at USAA.
“It was always my desire to continue to serve in the Navy as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Officer while still working at USAA, so I joined the Navy Reserves," recalls Chon.
Over the past 11 years, Chon has been called back to active-duty multiple times, serving in various capacities in Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, South America and throughout Europe.
“Sometimes, I was on military orders to serve a couple of weeks, and other times required me to deploy for several months at a time," says Chon. “USAA as a company, my management and my teams have always supported me while I was fulfilling my military obligations. USAA has allowed me to continue to serve with ease and peace of mind so that I can focus on the mission."
Roxanne L., facilitator – USAA talent development, has experienced deployment from a military spouse perspective. Her journey as a military spouse started in 2017 when her husband began active duty in the U.S. Navy.
“My life has been changed in so many ways as the wife of a sailor, from moving across the country to waiting up to three months or more just to communicate with my partner when he's on a mission," says Roxanne.
Roxanne embraced this journey as she was no stranger to the life of a military family – her father was also a Navy veteran.
“Being the daughter of a Navy Veteran who served for over 25 years, I immediately felt confident in what challenges being a Navy spouse might bring when my husband Michael would leave on deployment," says Roxanne. “I did this so many times as a military brat, not seeing my father for long months at a time, not expecting his presence at a band concert in school, celebrating holidays without him. That was just a way of life."
One of the hardest days of Roxanne's life was finding out that her husband would not be able to return home as planned because of an extension. She says her house was already decorated with “welcome home" signs and she had made his favorite food.
“He never walked through the door. It was a hard day for me and at the time I was helping members as a frontline employee. How was I going to even take a call?" recalls Roxanne. “I could barely breathe. I reached out to members of VetNet Spouse and within minutes, I had messages and notifications coming in from employees around the enterprise. They offered support, encouragement, even their personal phone numbers if I needed someone to talk to."
Roxanne says the support she's received from VetNet Spouse and her teammates has been invaluable over the years. The VETNet Spouse community has a program titled “Deployed Spouse Program.” When an employee has a spouse that is deployed or about to be deployed, they're encouraged to join. One of the group leads will reach out with quick touchpoints providing support throughout the deployment. The group also sends a card to the spouse during deployment with a personal note and treat.
“They were there for me and continue to be this day, as my husband is overseas on another strenuous deployment this fall and into next year," says Roxanne.
In addition to support, Chon and Roxanne were also able to utilize military leave benefits USAA provides. Some of the benefits USAA offers employees include the following:
Military Pay Supplement (MPS): 480 hours (12-weeks) of full pay per year to use while on military leave
Differential pay: 40 weeks per year, which is the difference between their military base pay and their USAA base pay if the military base pay is lower
Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance: USAA benefits will continue unless you choose to cancel them. USAA will pay the premiums while the employee is gone and set up payments arrangement when the employees return to get them caught up on their premiums
Retirement Savings Plan: Employees will be allowed to make up missed contributions and have those make-up contributions matched by the company.
Employees will continue to be awarded PTO while on military leave and can also use PTO while on leave
Employees receive a holiday bonus, if awarded, and an annual performance incentive, if awarded
Dedicated Leave & Accommodation Advisor to assist them with anything military leave
VetNet, USAA's internal military community and social media site
Trailing Spouse Program for military spouses PCSing on military orders
USAA has an aggressive Military Awareness Program. Special events include the annual Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the various Armed Forces birthday ceremonies