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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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November 11th, 2013
05:18 PM ET

How the company behind 'Call of Duty' helps veterans find jobs

The unemployment rate for young veterans of the post 9/11 era is 10.1%, yet these are usually disciplined, highly trained individuals with some of the toughest on-the-job training skills.

"Employers tell us they have a hard time plugging into the network to find the veterans," said former Marine General James Jones, co-chairman of The Call of Duty Endowment.

About 130,000 veterans will return to the civilian workforce this year; about one million veterans will return over the next five years.

Employers who may have little military experience "might have a hard time equating the military occupational specialties, with the needs of their work force," said Jones.

But statistically, Jones said, veterans put in 4% more in terms of performance, and tend to be more loyal employees, which translates to about 3% savings to employers over time.

"If you factor those things in, the profit margin for a company goes up by hiring a veteran," said Jones.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is Jones' co-chair for the endowment; Activision is the company behind the popular "Call of Duty" video game, which is also funding the eponymous endowment.

Jones said Kotick came up with the idea of giving incentives to non-profits who say they are passionate about hiring veterans. The Call of Duty Endowment rates those organizations, and if they do well, the endowment provides money and more support. Jones called Walmart's and the Chamber of Commerce's efforts to hire vets "fantastic."

The military needs to get involved, too, says Jones.

"We can do a lot to encourage the services to perhaps standardize their separation programs, to make it easier for the private sector to know where these skill sets are," said Jones.

Another hurdle veterans face is the stigma of psychological wounds, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Overcoming that cultural stigma will take time, says Jones.

"One way to overcome it is to talk about it ... and to let employers know that the main thing to remember about veterans, is the quality of these young people is astronomically high. Their skill sets are great," said Jones.

On allegations the NSA is overreaching in its surveillance

Jones served as National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama, and said the intelligence community is more than willing to "self-correct."

"I'm quite that if they find things that need to be adjusted – that because of the checks and balances that we have in our system and people playing their constitutional roles – that we will do the right thing," said Jones.

But, he added, the United States, "unlike any other nation, is a target of foreign intelligence efforts."

"A lot of the rhetoric that's going on now is going on because, you know, it has to, to some extent. But also, people are smart enough to understand that this world is a fast moving world with a lot of very dangerous possibilities," said Jones.

Fundamentally, said Jones, every leader has to safeguard his or her nation.

"But what would really be a shame is if people, friends of ours in particular, draw conclusions that are inaccurate," said Jones. "There is no intelligence organization on the planet that does more good for the health and welfare and security of the planet, than does the organization, the intelligence organizations, of this country."

CNN's Edward Meagher contributed to this report.

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