Banner Health is helping military veterans obtain meaningful employment through the Hiring Our Heroes program, a national organization associated with the U.S. Chambers of Commerce that works with veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Master Sgt.  Alen Schulze, a telecommunication operations chief at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is one of two Hire Our Heroes corporate fellowship program graduates recently hired by Banner Health in Arizona. He starts his new civilian career Monday as a systems consultant at Banner – University Medical Group in Tucson after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army.

Schulze enlisted on his 19th birthday and has seen six combat tours — three in Afghanistan and three in Iraq. He also participated in 13 drug interdiction deployments in Central and South America.

“This is a terrific opportunity for companies like Banner to recruit employees who have already demonstrated high character and have gone through rigorous training,” said Naomi Cramer, senior vice president, chief human resources officer at Banner Health.  “We feel fortunate to have two such high-quality leaders coming to our organization and we look forward to making more excellent hires through this program.’’

As part of the Hiring Our Heroes program, Schulze and Staff Sgt. (ret.) Joseph Girvan of Goodyear, a former Army Ranger, were matched with Banner Health, the largest non-profit employer in Arizona. For three months, they worked on special projects, met people throughout the organization and took courses for certification in their particular fields.

Afterward Banner hired Girvan as an IT project management consultant in Phoenix and offered Schulze the Tucson position with Banner – University Medical Group, its physician faculty practice plan.

“I was impressed with Alen from our first introduction and our team is most excited to bring his expertise to the Banner – University Medical Group,” said the group’s executive director, Scott Hofferber.

The Hiring our Heroes program, which is free to transitioning military, veterans and spouses, has an 80-percent successful placement rate, and has helped thousands find employment through job fairs in all 50 states and on military installations overseas.