Forbes’ Best Employers for veterans list is full of DC-area companies

With so many government and defense contractors in the D.C. region, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of employment opportunities for active military members transitioning to civilian employment, and Forbes’ new list of Best Employers for Veterans has many D.C.-area based companies on the list.

But they are not all government contractors.



Forbes’ annual list is based on surveys of thousands of American veterans currently working for companies with at least 1,000 employees.

They were asked to anonymously evaluate their employers’ working conditions, approach to diversity and inclusion, and whether their work environment is veteran friendly.

The list includes 200 companies.

The highest ranked locally is NASA, whose official headquarters is in Washington.

Among private employers, the highest ranked locally is Reston, Virginia-based government IT contractor Science Applications International Corporation, at No. 5.

“This recognition is a reflection of the deep appreciation we have for them, their service and the sacrifices that they and their families have made for the cause of freedom. I am especially grateful for the fact that every day our veteran employees are using their military experience to continue to support out country and its missions through their work at SAIC,” CEO Nazzic Keene said.

SAIC has more than 6,000 veteran employees.

Among the top 25 on the list of 200 that are locally based:

  • No. 4 NASA, Washington, D.C.
  • No. 5 Science Applications International Corporation, Reston
  • No. 7 Choice Hotels International, Rockville
  • No. 8 Northrop Grumman, Falls Church
  • No. 11 Lockheed Martin, Bethesda
  • No. 15 Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean
  • No. 19 CACI International, Reston

A total of 24 private employers and federal government agencies in the D.C. region are included in the list of 200.

Approximately 200,000 U.S. military service members transition to civilian life annually, Forbes said, citing the Department of Labor. The unemployment rate for veterans was 3.9% in October.

Forbes’ full list of its 200 America’s Best Employers for Veterans 2021, and the ranking’s methodology, are online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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