CruiseOne recently recognized five military veterans as the 2015 winners of the fourth annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest. The contest awards free travel franchises each valued at $12,700 to five deserving U.S. military veterans, for a total value of $63,500.
The annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest was open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date this past May. Candidates participated in a three-part application process, which included creating a business plan and phone interviews. More than 200 applicants from 45 different states submitted applications for “Operation Vetrepreneur.” This year’s winners included Navy Veteran James Eisenmann of Medina, OH; Army Veteran Larkin Frazier of Nashville, TN; Army Veteran Mattie Johnson of Philadelphia, PA; Air Force Veteran Curtis Regester of Fredericksburg, TX; and Army Veteran Bill Wilson of Meredith, NH.
The winners are attending a weeklong training at CruiseOne’s world headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and were honored with a special ceremony with city, state and county officials, as well as cruise line representatives.
A member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran initiative, CruiseOne said it is committed to giving back to the military community and offers many incentive programs to assist veterans in transitioning back to civilian life, including a 20 percent discount off the franchise fee and additional discounts for hiring former members of the U.S. military or active-duty military spouses as associates. CruiseOne’s military veteran ownership has a 90 percent success rate, with more than 150 veterans opening a franchise since 2010. In addition, more than 30 percent of the home-based cruise franchise owners are military veterans or active-duty spouses.