- The Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) helps unemployed / underemployed veterans find high-quality careers.
- In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, the C.O.D.E. Valkyrie Pack is now available and 100% of all net proceeds go directly to the Endowment to help military veterans.
- Activision and Infinity Ward answer our questions about the Call of Duty Endowment, how you can support this program, plus a couple of noteworthy features included in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 Season 03 Reloaded update.
I normally don’t discuss my military service, but in the mid-2000’s I deployed to the Middle East, like so many others had before me. After landing in country at the international airport, I sat there on the hot and dusty tarmac with dozens of other service members, waiting for transportation to the base to begin my one-year tour of duty. I continually scanned my surroundings, not knowing what to expect from this place. One thing was for certain, I was a stranger in a strange land. Amidst all the hustle and bustle consistent with any airport, I heard these two servicemembers talking. They looked to be in their early twenties, one had just arrived in theater and the other was preparing to leave. It was obvious they were friends, catching up in the minutes they had until they were once again separated. One commented on this being his third tour in two years, the other said this would also be his third. And then their conversation changed to happier thoughts. The one asked the other about the latest video game releases back home since he had been away for so long, and what the other had been playing. The other responded, “Call of Duty”.
I’ll never forget this moment, these two young kids sitting in the middle of a warzone having already completed a couple tours, and they’re bonding and laughing and sharing stories about Call of Duty. There was something encouraging about this moment that put me at peace, like everything was going to be okay. I didn’t know them or whatever happened to them, but my hope is they both made it home okay and are once again playing Call of Duty together.
Call of Duty has always been an important video game series for me, and not just because they are amazing games with these epic single player campaigns and insanely fun multiplayer modes, but perhaps just as importantly because of their efforts to support military veterans transitioning to the civilian world by helping them find employment opportunities through the Call of Duty Endowment program.
Since 2009, the nonprofit Call of Duty Endowment has helped more than 118,000 veterans find meaningful careers after their military service (that’s a group of vets more than half the size of the US Marine Corps). The Endowment seeks to help U.S. and U.K. veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the extraordinary value veterans bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org
Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director for the Call of Duty Endowment, discussed the program with us, including how it has helped servicemembers since its inception and this year’s activities during Military Appreciation Month. My first question was why this program and why this approach.
“Every veteran needs a job when they return from service. The data shows that if a veteran finds high-quality employment upon re-entry into civilian life, the other challenges they face become much more surmountable,” explains Goldenberg. “A good job means a roof, the ability to raise children in a healthy environment, access to healthcare, social interaction, and, perhaps most importantly, purpose.”
The Call of Duty Endowment ensures success by monitoring results through rigorous quality controls and periodic performance reviews. “We have developed a great, scalable model for finding and funding the highest performing nonprofits that place vets in jobs,” states Goldenberg. “Our model, launched in 2013, is called the Seal of Distinction. In short, it helps us find the needles in the haystack and turn them into spears.”
Military Appreciation Month and C.O.D.E.
Every year, Activision Blizzard and the Call of Duty Endowment support Military Appreciation Month through various activations providing gamers the opportunity to proactively support the endowment. Earlier this month, they hosted the Loot for Good campaign culminating in a substantial donation to C.O.D.E.
“Each Military Appreciation Month, the Endowment launches an in-game activation to engage the community in our work. We have been blown away by the response – last year we launched the first-ever in-game charity run – Call of Duty Veterans. This year, we launched Loot for Good and the response from our community was incredible,” says Goldenberg. “The Loot for Good campaign was the first of its kind charity extraction challenge and was a way for players to extract in-game loot and be credited with a real-world cash contribution. We raised $1,000,000, which will help fund the placement of more than 1,600 veterans into high-quality jobs.”
One of the other ways Activision Blizzard offers gamers the opportunity to support this program is through the purchase of special C.O.D.E. packs. This year’s pack is a bit different than previous packs, and Goldenberg discusses how and why.
“This month, we are launching the Call of Duty Endowment Valkyrie Pack, which has the Endowment’s first-ever female operator skin. These content packs have proven highly successful with our community, raising more than $27 million for veteran employment to-date while also raising awareness about the cause,” explains Goldenberg. “We also try to embed the cause with the content. This latest pack highlights female veterans and the major contributions they make every day in our armed forces.”
The Call of Duty Endowment was created after I left the military so I couldn’t use the services it provides, but since then I have reviewed the program so I could assist friends and fellow servicemembers as they prepare to leave the military, and there are some great resources available. I asked Goldenberg if he had any advice for transitioning servicemembers looking for employment.
“Our research shows that veterans who reach out for professional help with resume writing and interview preparation are 2-3 times more likely to land high-quality employment. Veterans should reach out for this help and should never pay for these types of services,” says Goldenberg. “Getting help translating military experience into civilian hiring language is critical to getting hired. The best place to find world-class support is at our website.”
For more information about this program, check out this week’s Official Xbox Podcast with Major Nelson interviewing Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director, Call of Duty Endowment.
In addition to the new Call of Duty Endowment Valkyrie Pack launching on May 17, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 recently launched Season 03 Reloaded on May 10. The latest season includes a new raid and mission; new 6v6 map; new modes, equipment, and ranked play for Warzone 2.0; and much more! Stephanie Snowden, Director of Communications at Infinity Ward, provided us with more details about a few of the features from Season 03 Reloaded.
Step Into the Shoes of the Basketball MVP – Kevin Durant
We’ve witnessed some spectacular operators added to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, but perhaps never one as unique as basketball MVP Kevin Durant. “Kevin is a huge Call of Duty fan, which made scanning and designing his operator and items a ton of fun for us at Infinity Ward,” says Snowden. “While making the operator as realistic as possible is always a priority, it was important for us to be sure the feel of the items matched KD’s swagger both on and off the court. We can’t wait to see players easy money sniping.”
New 6v6 Multiplayer Map – Alboran Hatchery
Maps are one of the most talked about features, especially anytime we are near a new season. There are always lengthy discussions online about fan-favorite maps from previous Call of Duty games and speculation about what map might be added with each new season. But in Season 03 Reloaded, we already know this new map is Alboran Hatchery.
“Alboran Hatchery is set in Galicia, Spain, which was a featured locale in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II campaign in the Recon By Fire mission. The map can be broken down in 4 overall sections: Fishery Warehouse, Containers, Main Entrance, and Storage Building,” explains Snowden. “Prepare for close-quarters action in the Warehouse, while rooftops may offer a vertical advantage. Containers can provide key defensive cover for your team in 6v6 modes.”
For more details about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 Season 03 Reloaded, check out the official site and follow @CallofDuty on Twitter.
As a veteran, I’d personally like to thank Activision Blizzard for their tremendous efforts with the Call of Duty Endowment. It’s worth noting the company funds all operating costs for this program and has donated over $38M to the endowment, with 100% of all player contributions going straight to providing employment support to veterans with the goal of finding them high-quality jobs that fully leverage their experience, character, skills, and education. Read more about the program here.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is available for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is available for free on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® II
Activision Publishing Inc.
Call of Duty®: Warzone™ 2.0
Activision Publishing Inc.
Join forces with your friends and jump into a sprawling battleground in the metropolitan area and rural outskirts within the Republic of Adal. Loot For Rewards
Discover supply boxes and complete contracts to build your arsenal and gain a tactical advantage. Introducing DMZ Mode
Drop into the all-new sandbox objective-based mode to choose your own experience within the warzone and collecting gear to keep in your Call of Duty®: Warzone™ 2.0 inventory. Purchase the Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® II Vault Edition and get the Red Team 141 Operator Pack, FJX Cinder Weapon Vault*, 10 hours of 2XP, 10 hours of Weapons 2XP, Battle Pass and 50 Tier Skips** – also usable in Warzone™ 2.0. An Xbox Live Gold subscription is not required to play the Warzone™ 2.0 game mode. All other online modes still require Xbox Live Gold. *Weapon Vault design limited to Weapon Vault contents at launch. **Battle Pass redemption applies to one season of Modern Warfare® II Battle Pass only. For more information, please visit www.callofduty.com. © 2022-2023 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, MODERN WARFARE and CALL OF DUTY WARZONE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. This product contains software technology licensed from Id Software (‚Id Technology‘). Id Technology © 1999-2023 Id Software, Inc.