Donald and Cecilia Butler met at a race in Corpus Christie, Texas. Both are avid runners. Don was an active-duty officer in the Navy and Cecilia worked for the USAA. So when Don left the Navy in 2006 as a lieutenant commander, he joined the reserves and took a job working for the USAA doing labor market analytics.
Five years after he started working for the bank, the Navy informed him that he would have to be deployed to Afghanistan. Going into combat was a big unknown, he says, but USAA had assured him that his job would be waiting for him when he came home.
"I say this to a lot of people, but the USAA was more supportive of my deployment than the Navy was." His managers spoke with him immediately, asked if he needed time off to spend time with his family before leaving to serve, and helped him square away his finances while he would be gone. "The first thing I thought to myself is, 'They get it, they understand what it's like to be in the military. That impressed me. And the transition was just as easy as it could be.'"
The company also supported Cecilia while Don was gone. The USAA offers support groups for military spouses at home while their partners are deployed. "If there were any concerns that I had, I could discuss them," Cecelia says.
When Don returned a year later, the USAA eased his transition. The company even threw a "welcome home" party for the couple.
To this day, Cecilia says, the USAA helps her realize the quality of life she desires. She hasn't quit running in the years since she met Don. She has run several marathons, including the prestigious race in Boston. "I squeeze in my running on the lunch break," she says, "and that's just a small example of the things that USAA offers."
In its 16th year, Fortune's ranking of the best workplaces in corporate America welcomes five list debutantes, and what's more, 78 of them are looking to fill nearly 67,000 jobs.