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Chesapeake Energy Recognized As Top Recruiter For Veterans

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Chesapeake Energy is being recognized as one of the top recruiters of junior military officers by G.I. Jobs. Scott Campbell, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who now works as a production engineer for Chesapeake, is pictured on this month's cover. Chesapeake Energy is being recognized as one of the top recruiters of junior military officers by G.I. Jobs. Scott Campbell, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who now works as a production engineer for Chesapeake, is pictured on this month's cover.
"I just think they're the perfect farm team, if you will," said Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, "for what we're trying to do here at Chesapeake." Chesapeake currently employs 35 JMO recruits at its offices and drill sites across the country. "I just think they're the perfect farm team, if you will," said Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, "for what we're trying to do here at Chesapeake." Chesapeake currently employs 35 JMO recruits at its offices and drill sites across the country.

Alex Cameron, News 9 

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As the nation paused on this Veteran's Day to recognize its military men and women, one local company could take pride in knowing that it is paying tribute to our veterans every day.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is being recognized as one of the top recruiters of junior military officers in the nation, and the company brass, not to mention the officers themselves, couldn't be happier about it.

Jeff Nanna graduated from the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis in 2001. He went on to become a pilot and flew a P-3 Orion for the Navy until about a year ago, when he decided to make the transition from public service to private sector.

"I interviewed with a lot of great companies," Nanna explained, "but Chesapeake was the best, and that's why I went with them."

Nanna wasn't the only one.

Two years ago, Scott Campbell made a similar decision. The Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran was one of the first to benefit from Chesapeake's decision to start recruiting junior military officers. Campbell quickly went from company commander to production engineer. He is also pictured on the cover of the current issue of the magazine G.I. Jobs -- an honor, he said, but one that came with a price.

"One thing about the military," Campbell grinned, "you gotta have tough skin, so you know I got a lot of slack for that one."

The accompanying story details the increasing opportunities for veterans in the energy industry, and singles out Chesapeake -- a regular in Forbes magazine's annual Best Companies to Work For issue -- for being one of the nation's top 100 military friendly companies.

Chesapeake Founder and CEO, Aubrey McClendon, deflects the praise to the veterans he's hired.

"I just think they're the perfect farm team, if you will," McClendon said, "for what we're trying to do here at Chesapeake."

Chesapeake currently employs 35 JMO recruits at its offices and drill sites across the country. Last week, McClendon gathered them all in Oklahoma City for a formal photo shoot and an informal meet and greet.

McClendon, who did not serve in the military himself, made a point of introducing himself to each one and then thanked them, as a group, both for what they've done for the country, and for what they bring to the job.

 "In terms of your leadership skills, in terms of your personal discipline, in terms of your ability to deal with stress, literally, under fire," said McClendon, "those are things that you can't teach."

Few of the veterans had any experience in the oil and gas industry prior to starting with Chesapeake, although many have engineering backgrounds. Still, they seem, universally, to feel, like McClendon does, that their military experience makes this a good fit for them.

At their respective service academies, and on the front lines, they learned how to react and think on their feet -- abilities that they say are also very useful when working out in the field under sometimes stressful conditions.

"Sometimes," Campbell said, "the success of a man is measured by how fast he can go to plan B, once plan A fails."

"They need that kind of expertise," added Nanna, "and that's what we bring."

McClendon said he plans to continue hiring veterans. He'd like to get to 100 within the next few years. He said it's not a patriotic gimmick, just good business.

"We're not trying to hire whoever we can, we're trying to hire the very best," the CEO said.

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