PRAISING WAL-MART’S VETERANS PLEDGE: First Lady Michelle Obama, more accustomed to championing Seventh Avenue designers than discount retailers, has turned her praise on retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Obama, who addressed a meeting of executives at the Business Roundtable on Wednesday, held up Wal-Mart Stores as a model for other businesses to follow because it has pledged to hire military veterans. Wal-Mart has said it will hire any veteran seeking employment that has been honorably discharged in the past 12 months and expects to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

“For every veteran who has served honorably and is in need of a job in the year after they separate from the military, Wal-Mart is telling them that they will hire them,” Obama said. “And they aren’t just looking at annual turnover rates and picking a minimum number they know they can easily hit. Instead, they are setting the bar high. They’re saying, no matter what, ‘we’ve got your back.’”

This story first appeared in the March 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Obama launched the “Joining Forces” campaign two years ago with Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, to rally the country around providing assistance to military members.