Our Commitment to Veterans and Military Spouses

Today, Starbucks is offering veterans, reservists and military spouses a free tall brewed coffee at any of our company-owned locations in the U.S. It’s just our small way of thanking the courageous men and women who serve our great nation, and the families that support them every day.

But this is about so much more than coffee. As a US Marine Corps veteran, manager in equal opportunity and leader of Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN), I’ve met with veterans around the country who face too many hurdles when looking for meaningful jobs. We have also strategized with Starbucks business leaders to conduct veteran outreach efforts across the country.  In fact, more than one million active duty members are expected to transition back to civilian life over the next five years. Despite their extensive skills and leadership qualities, many struggle to find jobs in the private sector because businesses do not know how to translate their military experience. As former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Starbucks board member Robert Gates says in this video, they’re not looking for charity or a handout. They’re looking for careers at a mission-driven organization that shares their values.

As a 20-year partner at Starbucks, I am confident we can offer them that place. For me, my Starbucks journey began when I was introduced to Starbucks Coffee prior to leaving the Marine Corps. Leading a small team in a dynamic environment, serving the world’s greatest coffee was a job description I could not ignore.
That’s why I’m so proud that Starbucks has committed to hire at least 10,000 veterans and active duty spouses over the next five years to come join our teams as we continue to grow globally. With enhanced tools and resources in place, we’ll be able to help veterans and military spouses connect with partners and translate their skills to jobs that match their background, interests and most importantly, transferable skills.

We are also establishing five community stores near joint bases around the US, where 10 cents of every transaction will go towards a local nonprofit that is working to connect veterans with meaningful jobs. Read more about it here.

On behalf of the AFN, I want to thank everyone who helped launch this new commitment. It’s just another example of how Starbucks partners come together to make things happen every day.

We look forward to serving our veterans and military spouses today. Coffee is on us.


Inspired by your ideas:

Veteran's Day
posted by The Old Sarge


11/12/2013 12:22 PM

Hi Mick J.

I'm very interested in your 10,000 veterans and active duty spouses hiring commitment over the next 5 years.  Could you please keep us up to date on that?  A lot of companies talk about it, and vow they have commitments, ONLINE, but when it comes right down to it, it amounts to a hill of beans.  Just ask the veterans.  So if you really ARE going to do this thing, just let us hear about it, when, how, where and how many.


Veteran Dave
11/13/2013 2:29 PM


Not all the Stabuck's got the word.  When I went into my local Starbuck's and asked for my complimentary tall coffee the two baristas gave me a puzzled look and said that they hadn't heard anything about this offer.

Good move, folks...invite me in to honor me and then embarrass and insult me...and then don't forget to charge me for the "free" coffee...If Denny's can get it right, why can't you?  And FYI, I was wearing my original issue dress blue US Navy uniform since I was heading for a memorial service.

Dave--US Navy Service Disabled Vietnam Veteran

11/14/2013 7:05 AM

When I asked about any promotion at the Glasgow, Delaware location On Monday for veterans,  I was told there were none. I would appreciate it if YOU WOULD INFORM THE RUDE CASHIER WORKING The DRIVE-THRU.  

 Also, there's another employee there that has actually YELLED at me because my friend and I asked items to be rung up separately.  She blew her lid when my friend asked to add a pastry after I was rung up. I believe the two women should NOT BE WORKING IN CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ALL! I usually stop at this location after the gym as a treat since it's the closest to me, which is 23 miles away.  We Military like our coffees without attitude, & less of a commute APG Post in Aberdeen,  MD.

Thank You for taking the time to read this, if at all. A frazzled Army wife. `~`,

11/14/2013 7:17 AM

The Frazzled Army wife would like to add, that I would LOVE to work at one of your locations if there was one closer than 23 miles away. My husband recently retired, & where we are now is quite scarce of ANY coffee shop. It's hard enough trying to find a job,  let alone driving that far for a good cup of coffee & food.

Trenta Mama
11/16/2013 4:25 PM

I am a veteran and am a rehire at Starbucks so it is happening all around!  Mick, may I suggest that the Starbucks you may have visited might have been a subsidiary that does not participate in corporate Starbucks policies, standards of practice, and promotions.

Veteran Dave
11/18/2013 5:44 PM

Trenta Mama--

It was a corporate Starbucks, not a subsidiary.

Veteran Dave

11/20/2013 6:22 PM

i love the idea

11/20/2013 6:32 PM

I am with Veteran Dave, my local Starbucks acted as if I were crazy when I showed my Veterans ID an even my Disabled Military ID. After being called, babe and doll one too many times by the workers, that drew the line for me and I will not be returning or supporting my local Starbucks. I would rather wait the two hours until I reach a coffee shop by the Veterans Hospital than put myself in a situation that I might get anger.

11/20/2013 6:34 PM

I love this idea!

11/20/2013 8:49 PM

What an amazing idea!

11/21/2013 2:15 AM

Great idea

Get one free
11/21/2013 5:23 AM

Keep up the good work. Our veterans mean so much to us as they sacrifice much to protect our country and others. Please honor this offer at all Starbuck's. Our barbeque ministry has served thousands of our servicemen and women getting ready to ship out. Love serving them.

11/21/2013 6:02 AM

Love this!

11/21/2013 6:15 AM

Happened in Chicago as well. I am a gold card member, and usually go to one location downtown Chicago where everyone knows me. Is Veterans Day, which is also my birthday, I was at a neighborhood location. When I asked for the free coffee, I received the same response; "There is no such promotion". You gotta love the communication and leadership, way to drop the ball...

11/21/2013 6:19 AM

On the 12th, I went into my regular location and told of my experience. Even though they were not aware of the promotion either, they took care of me. Instead of a plain ol' TALL coffee, they said a military veteran deserves a lot more. Ended up getting a VENTI cappuccino and bakery treat. This is true appreciation...I'm just saying


11/21/2013 6:50 AM

I wish you had advertised this better prior to Veteran's Day. I am very happy about your decision to hire 10,000 vets. These brave men and women deserve to be given an opportunity. Kudos to you.

11/21/2013 7:46 PM

This was such a great idea to honor our servicemen & veterans. Too bad it wasn't communicated to the stores & embarrassed them. Really dropped the ball on this!

11/22/2013 2:33 PM

I would not do business with a company if they where not friendly to our Veterans. I am sorry that some did not get there coffee and honored on veterans day. I would have bought it for you if I was there. Go vets!! I am very happy to see the hiring information and actually numbers posted. I myself am not a veteran but I would like to thank the service men and women and there families.

11/22/2013 4:16 PM

Although I am grateful for a free tall (12oz.) coffee on Veteran's Day, it would be nice to see support throughout the year.  Anyone can offer a discount or free item once a year and say they support our Veterans, but is that really support or just for a show.

If you truly want to support my brothers and sisters, then offer a 10% discount at every store on every item purchased year round.  I mean really its only pennies compared to the profits made on every item.

Highest Regards.

Mark K. Matthews

3 time Combat Medic, US Army

Disabled Veteran

Ria H
11/27/2013 3:56 AM

Great idea

11/30/2013 2:13 PM

I like that a ton I think Police Officers and first responders get to have the chance too because they are protecting your city and the community and bring revenue to the company......

2/4/2014 8:57 PM

As an airman veteran I thank you. Starbucks was with me both times I went to the box.

True Bishop
2/20/2014 7:51 PM

As Disabled Veteran I have seen Starbuck promote small business ,But when you attempt to do business with them it not taken nice always cost cutting measure in place?

True Bishop
2/20/2014 7:51 PM

As Disabled Veteran I have seen Starbuck promote small business ,But when you attempt to do business with them it not taken nice always cost cutting measure in place?

5/27/2014 8:32 AM

Why the military discount ONLY on veterans day? Shouldn"t we appreciate them everyday? I'm not saying free everyday, but military discount button in computer? Just a thought...

5/27/2014 8:32 AM

Why the military discount ONLY on veterans day? Shouldn"t we appreciate them everyday? I'm not saying free everyday, but military discount button in computer? Just a thought...

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