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Meet 51 Vets

“Helping elite veterans find a new career”
When members of the military’s elite special operations retire, they often don't know where to take their career next — or have the network to make it happen. Jordan Selleck founded 51 Vets to bridge the gap between the private sector and the elite veteran community, helping them find a new career path and renewed purpose.
51 Vets

2:53 | Transcript



When you think of Special Operations Forces, you may think of their skill, drive and heroism. To be considered for special operations, individuals undergo rigorous physical and mental training — and the extraordinary few who are selected take on some of the most complex missions around the world, often experiencing more deployments than other military units. 


What many people don’t consider is what happens to these elite soldiers once they retire from their unit. 


A career in special operations can range from a few years to 25+ years, leaving veterans with several more decades of working years ahead of them and often without a clear path of where to take their career next — or the network to make it happen. 


“When you retire from an elite military community, you don’t have that tribe or community anymore. Many elite veterans leave their unit wondering, ‘Where do I go from here?’” said 51 Vets Founder Jordan Selleck. “That’s the first thing we try to do at 51 Vets: provide elite veterans with community support to know they’re not alone in their career journey when they get out.”


Founded in 2022, the nonprofit organization 51 Vets helps special operations veterans transition from leaders in the military to leaders in the private sector. Selleck, an investment banker-turned-entrepreneur, was inspired to rally around this community after reading the book “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. 


Using his existing professional network, Selleck began connecting elite veterans to leaders in the finance industry. Connections turned into introductions which turned into job offers — because elite veterans have skills unlike anyone else: skills that companies are in desperate need of.


“Veterans from elite military communities are like no other. The qualities that required them to complete some of the most rigorous training and missions in the military are also what make them excellent business leaders,” said 51 Vets Executive Director Lindsey Schiro. “That’s why 51 Vets is on a mission to help these veterans find jobs that are commensurate with their highly selective skillsets and experience.”


Through networking opportunities, business school preparation, career placement, mentorship and other resources, 51 Vets helps elite veterans transition to a private sector career that aligns with their unique set of competencies. The organization focuses on connections to the finance industry because of Selleck’s background, but also because the personality traits of those who succeed in financial leadership roles closely mirror those in special operations. 


“Special operations forces thrive in ambiguous situations, and we’ve found many of the CEOs we work with in the finance industry need a right-hand leader who can take on anything they ask of them,” Selleck said. “Our members are really the perfect fit for these roles — they just need the training and connections to translate the skills they already possess into a new career.”


Today, 51 Vets supports over 400 members, but the intent is for membership to remain exclusive — because the tight-knit nature of the community is what makes it special. 


“We want to maintain a community that gives these veterans high-touch, high-reward one-on-one mentorship and guidance that’s really focused on the individual, their experiences and their ambitions,” Schiro said. “Our members are also always welcome to come back to us, whether they’re looking for a new role or are looking for specific support from their elite veteran community.”


“It’s an honor to work with an organization that connects veterans to rewarding leadership opportunities,” said Grant Thornton CEO Seth Siegel. “At Grant Thornton, we champion a culture that values diverse skillsets and fosters innovative thinking, which is why we’re passionate about the work 51 Vets does — and we are uniquely positioned to facilitate connections that empower these veterans to excel in their post-military careers.”


51 Vets is always seeking new corporate partners and individual supporters. And as Selleck’s experience shows, you don’t have to have a military background to do your part in supporting this community. Through actions as simple as connecting on LinkedIn, writing an introductory email or telling an industry leader about the mission of 51 Vets, you can help elite veterans find a career they deserve and a new opportunity to thrive.



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