USO Reviews | Glassdoor

USO Reviews

Updated June 4, 2017
77 reviews

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3.7
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USO President and CEO Dr. J.D. Crouch II
Dr. J.D. Crouch II
30 Ratings

77 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • everyone is mission driven and service members love the USO and what they do for their community (in 10 reviews)

  • Great benefits and room for growth (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • The organization touts 8 core values but leadership ignores them (in 5 reviews)

  • really no cons in this type of job (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Center Operation and Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Center Operations and Program Manager in Copperas Cove, TX
    Current Employee - Center Operations and Program Manager in Copperas Cove, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at USO (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work closely with military service members and their families.

    Cons

    Hours may somewhat personal time.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "So much potential, so little leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USO full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful mission. Great need for their services.

    Cons

    While under the leadership of Sloan Gibson the organization flourished and grew. The focus was on the mission and there was a huge desire to ensure staff had a path for advancement and a decent quality of life. Following his departure quality quickly plummeted and staff was rarely a consideration.

    Advice to Management

    Your team is your best resource-invest in them and appreciate them. Get creative, follow the example of our military members and their families-stretch beyond your comfort zone and you'll do well.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Worst experience of a life time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Chief Operating Officer in Derby, NY
    Former Employee - Chief Operating Officer in Derby, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    the only reason is the troops

    Cons

    Central office is awful - too much manipulation with donor funds and more focused on their self importance than really taking care of the troops

    Advice to Management

    merge with Wounded Warrior and shut down the USO corporate offices


  4. Helpful (3)

    "do not drink the koolaid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USO full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    pros, I felt that working with and for service members, especially young enlisted members and wounded warriors was so important

    Cons

    the infighting is out of control, senior management screaming at each other, senior management bullying younger employees and using them as scapegoats, terribly mishandled finances

    Advice to Management

    work more closely with your local chapters, they get completely out of hand, and do nothing to help your reputation


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Underwhelming and unstable"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at USO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great mission but doesn't every nonprofit cite that?
    USO hires plenty of talented people
    Field staff and volunteers are the amazing spirit behind the organization
    Free parking/metro
    Gym at the HQ

    Cons

    Dramatic and biased layoffs occur every other year
    Incredibly top heavy organizational structure (mostly unwarranted given the lack of complex work output from the HQ)
    The talented people are paralyzed because the culture makes it difficult to do good work
    The talented people don't stay long so expect lots of turnover and pitching in to support the revolving door of vacancies; don't expect to be recognized for the latter
    Disconnect between HQ and field, and much more so than other other HQ-field affiliate structure; this is detrimental to the future of the organization
    Some mid-senior managers are either not skilled in people or project management, or simply working to keep the status quo and their own jobs safe (probably not unique to the USO)
    Sweeping changes to realign and reduce salaries-mostly warranted given the nature of nonprofits; unfortunately those changes have been packaged as a career growth "step" program

    Advice to Management

    Try not to do so much damage during your tenure that even the donors and volunteers begin to question your fitness for the roles


  6. Helpful (1)

    "A demanding workplace with a fantastic mission, an evolving corporate culture and big goals for the future."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at USO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    *Opportunity to take on lots of responsibility and growth based on performance. You won't be bored.

    *Friendly environment of mostly kind and supportive colleagues.

    *A measured, step-based promotion plan to ensure those who meet/exceed objectives grow in title, pay and scope.

    *A truly unique and meaningful charitable mission.

    *Excellent benefits and competitive compensation.

    Cons

    *Layers of internal processes have produced a bureaucratic culture that slows down innovation growth.

    *Pressure to meet targets is quickly increasing (not necessarily a bad thing) without adaquate resources to deliver (maybe just a nonprofit thing).

    *Many workplace policies look great on paper (training & work culture development especially) but fail to deliver on the bottom line. There is a set of core values new hires are compelled to adopt that are rarely revisited anytime after orientation.

    *Rapidly increasing formal environment. Pressure to dress in business formal/business casual attire nearly every day.

    Advice to Management

    Study power dynamics and understand the broad impacts of small behaviors at the senior level and how they affect behavior and performance with the rank and file.


  7. "GREAT OPPORTUNITIES"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Assistant in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Staff are vey mission focused and committed to supporting service members- very rewarding to work here.

    Cons

    Culture reflects audience with turn-over- change of duty station every three years but wouldn't necessarily call this a negative attribute, more an opportunity for fresh ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be passionate about the mission and the audience you are serving.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Bad to Worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - The generous PTO plan
    - some of the staff really care about the mission and are great to work with
    - USO volunteers and center staff are awesome

    Cons

    - leadership does not have your back and shows little appreciation for staff
    - things have been in flux under the CEO for the 2+ years he's been there.. there's an unclear direction and a lot of feeling of uncertainty
    - it's a top heavy organization with little room to grow
    - workload can be overwhelming & leadership does not give you proper direction to determine what should be given priority

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to learn about what the people under you do and how they can be properly utilized


  9. "Volunteer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in El Segundo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at USO (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic people to work with and even better young troops transitioning to their new service. LAX USO is 24/7 for our terrific troops and their families.

    Cons

    None. Couldn't ask for a better, more fulfilling work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work with our volunteer base.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "With 40,000 military nonprofits, you can do better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at USO full-time

    Pros

    30 days of vacation (though you can't take advantage of it because there's always too much work to do so you never feel comfortable taking it). Convenient to metro. Opportunity to serve and meet some great people who serve our country. Compensation is generally a little better than comparable nonprofits.

    Cons

    Cold-hearted leadership team at HQs don't care about the employees, except for Operations where there's a great leader at the helm (former military). If you're going to work here, work in the field at a center - people are much happier there as they are closer to the mission delivery and far away from HQs. Several employees have left to go to Operation Homefront, a kinder, gentler, more down-to-earth military nonprofit. People are working on top of each other since they are busting out of the space and management won't address the space problems. The organization touts 8 core values but leadership ignores them.

    Advice to Management

    Dust off your core values and live them. You're falling short in every area, particularly respect, do the right thing, gratitude, innovation. Hold your entire leadership team accountable, like you do the rest of the staff, before they wreck the progress that was made in prior years. Fix the review process - it remains a source of angst for even the best employees.


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