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Former NATO Commander gets behind Street Vendors

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U.S. General Wesley Clark, a highly decorated retired four-star general and former supreme allied commander in Europe for NATO, is also the director and senior veterans advisor at The Grilled Cheese Truck Inc., reports CNBC. His mission: supervise the development and implementation of the recruitment and selection for prospective veteran franchisee candidates.

According to the company’s June 13 SEC filing, a major component of The Grilled Cheese Truck’s business strategy is to market franchises to U.S. veterans for about 100 mobile truck franchise operations. The company says that, despite their significant skill sets, many veterans have difficulty finding work when they return to civilian life. Since September 11, 2001, it is estimated that approximately 2.7 million veterans have served in the military with an approximate unemployment rate of 9.2%, compared with 7.6% of non-veterans, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We believe that given these circumstances, United States veterans would be interested in starting or buying a new business or considering doing so,” says the company, adding that Clark will take on the vetting process for prospective veteran franchisees. CNBC reports that last year, Clark received total compensation, including cash and warrants, valued at $472,000 from the company. Of this, Clark received $213,333 from The Grilled Cheese Company in consulting compensation, including $100,000 in cash.

So far the company has not yet established estimated budgets or milestones regarding the implementation of its veteran program. “Once the franchise model is in place, we intend to focus on establishing a strategy which focuses on veterans receiving the first 100 franchises, including the scope and the timeframe for implementation of the training, management and ownership of the franchises and methods we anticipate utilizing to assist prospective veteran franchisees to secure financing to acquire a franchise.”

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