January 11, 2005 (updated November 2013)
On behalf of Starbucks more than 200,000 dedicated partners (employees), we want to set the record straight on an old rumor concerning our company’s lack of support for the military and our troops. This rumor, dating back to 2004, claims a lack of Starbucks support for the U.S. Marines, and has evolved to include a lack of support for the British Royal Marines. In both instances, the rumor is not, and has never been, true.
When Starbucks learned of the original email, we immediately contacted the author, a Marine Sergeant, who subsequently sent an email to his original distribution list correcting the mistake. Unfortunately, rumors have a way of continuing even after the truth has been revealed.
At Starbucks, we respect the efforts of the men and women who serve their country in the military – including our fellow partners who serve during this time of war. In fact, Starbucks recently made a strategic business decision to hire thousands of veterans and active duty military spouses over the next 5 years, given the unique skills and talents we’ve seen them bring to our workplace. Like Starbucks, the members of the U.S. military and their spouses share our passion for mission-driven leadership and service, and they exemplify the kinds of partners Starbucks wants to have as part of our team. In addition to our strategic hiring focus on veterans and active duty spouses, we have also made a commitment to expand our community store model with five military communities over the next five years in the U.S. Starting with stores in Lakewood, WA near Joint Base Lewis-McChord and in San Antonio, TX near Joint Base San Antonio, we will convert existing stores to community stores to share a portion of their profits to fund local non-profit programs that help veterans re-entering the workforce.
Starbucks also has partnered with the American Red Cross and the United Service Organizations (USO) to provide coffee to relief efforts during times of conflict, donating more than 141,000 lbs of coffee and over one million 3-packs of Starbucks VIA®. Additionally, troops all over the world are enjoying Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew in care packages they receive not only from Starbucks, but from their family and friends as well. Last year, Starbucks provided over 220,000 3-packs of Starbucks VIA® to the USO for their care package program.
Confirmation that this rumor is a blatant untruth can be found online at snopes.com, boycottwatch.org, and truthorfiction.com. Below you will find the text from the Marine Sergeant correcting his mistake.
Almost 5 months ago I sent an e-mail to you my faithful friends. I did a wrong thing that needs to be cleared up. I heard by word of mouth about how Starbucks said they didn’t support the war and all. I was having enough of that kind of talk and didn’t do my research properly like I should have. This is not true. Starbucks supports men and women in uniform. They have personally contacted me and I have been sent many copies of their company’s policy on this issue. So I apologize for this quick and wrong letter that I sent out to you.
Now I ask that you all pass this email around to everyone you passed the last one to.
Thank you very much for understanding about this.
Howard C. Wright
1st Force Rcon Co
1st Plt PLT RTO
Dated: August 17, 2004”
We have worked hard to put this rumor to rest, so that it no longer distracts from the many outstanding demonstrations our partners have made – on their own and together – to support the troops.
If you have any additional feedback or would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact us at (800) email@example.com email us at
See also: Starbucks Provides Coffee to U.S. Service Members in Afghanistan (added 1/17/15)