MILWAUKEE, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- USO Wisconsin has named Northwestern Mutual the 2016 recipient of the Veteran Friendly Workplace Award for excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, and for outstanding support of veterans in the community. Northwestern Mutual was announced as the winner from five Wisconsin finalists. "This award recognizes Northwestern Mutual for demonstrating initiatives to support military personnel and inspiring other companies to join their efforts," said Josh Sova, executive director of USO Wisconsin. "Service members not only deserve an opportunity to begin a career outside the military, but they also embody the skill set of an ideal employee; they work hard to reach goals, are used to long hours, are proven leaders, and will accomplish any task given to them. They often just need to be given a chance." Northwestern Mutual is a strong supporter of those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this year, the company received the Patriot Award by an agency of the Department of Defense for extraordinary support of employees serving in the Wisconsin National Guard and Reserve. The awards are examples of the deep respect that Northwestern Mutual has for military service members and veterans, and its ongoing commitment to recruiting, hiring and retaining them as well as helping them have stronger and more secure financial futures. "As a company, we are honored to receive this recognition, but the true heroes are the veterans and active military who serve our country with pride and have sacrificed greatly to secure our freedom," said Ron Joelson, chief investment officer for Northwestern Mutual and executive sponsor of the company's Military Veterans Employee Resource Group. "That's why our employees and financial representatives are so passionate about supporting and equipping service members with the tools and confidence they need to have a more secure financial future. It's one way that we can give back." Research conducted by Northwestern Mutual* shows that military veterans are already steps ahead of the general population when it comes to financial security, perhaps because nearly half of veterans say they have a written, long-term financial plan in place, and two in five say they work with a financial advisor on their plan.