CruiseOne® Operation Vetrepreneur winners Frank Griffith, Grant Springer, Ted Coates, Tara Fuentes and Doug Robinson. Photo Credit: Robert AuclairThis Veteran’s Day, CruiseOne, announced the five winners of its second annual nationwide contest “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General.” The winners received a free travel franchise valued at $12,700.

The annual contest was open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date this past Memorial Day. Candidates participated in a rigorous three-part application process which included creating a business plan and phone interviews. More than 300 applicants from 40 different states submitted applications for “Operation Vetrepreneur.” This year’s winners included Doug Robinson of Hattiesburg, Miss.; Frank Griffith of Lorain, Ohio; Grant Springer of Edgewater, Md.; Tara Fuentes of Canton, Ga.; and Ted Coates of Baltimore.

“Military veterans are vital to our country’s success, both socially and economically,” said Tim Courtney, vice president of network development at CruiseOne. “More than one million veterans will be transitioning out of the armed forces in the next two years and franchising provides them with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and military skills in a civilian workplace.”

The winners are attending a weeklong training at CruiseOne’s world headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and were honored with a special ceremony featuring city and state officials.  

A member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran initiative, CruiseOne proudly supports military veterans and is consistently recognized by leading industry publications as a military-friendly franchise. With military veterans accounting for more than 15 percent of its franchise owners, the company’s accolades include a number one ranking by Forbes in its “Top 10 Military Friendly Franchise” and inclusion on the “Top 100 Vet-Friendly Franchise” lists by Franchise Business Review and 1851, in addition to being named a “Top Franchise for Veterans” by Opportunity World.  For the past four years, CruiseOne was named to G.I. Jobs magazine’s Military Friendly Franchises® lists, which represents the top 10 percent of the nation’s franchises that are doing the most to support military veterans.