January 11, 2005 (updated December 2006)
Rumor Response: Misinformation About Starbucks and the United States Military   

You may have heard a rumor concerning Starbucks lack of military personnel support. This is not true. In 2004, we replied to an e-mail circulating on the internet that contained misinformation about the Company. Starbucks contacted its author, a Marine Sergeant, who subsequently sent an e-mail to his original distribution list correcting his mistake, the text of which is:


ďDear Readers,


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 didnít support the war and all.  I was having enough of that kind of talk and didnít 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 companyís 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, 2004Ē


Additionally confirmation that this is an inaccurate rumor can be found at:









Starbucks, our customers, and our partners (employees) respect the efforts of the U.S. men and women who serve their country in the military. Starbucks and its partners (employees) have consistently demonstrated their support of military personnel in a number of ways.


A few examples of their generosity include:


  • Each week Starbucks partners (employees) receive one free pound of coffee. On an individual, grass roots level, many partners (employees) in the U. S. have collected their free coffee and shipped thousands of pounds of Starbucks coffee overseas.
  • Partners in our Atascadero, California store sent their personal weekly allotment of coffee to troops in Afghanistan so they would be able to enjoy a little taste of home.
  • Our customer relations department in Seattle donated hundreds of pounds of coffee to the sailors on the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier.


On Sept. 21, 2006, Starbucks was honored with the Freedom Award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Freedom Award, the highest award bestowed by the Department of Defense in recognition of an employer, was created in 1996 by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of Defense William Perry to publicly recognize American employers who provide exceptional support to their employees who voluntarily serve the nation in the National Guard and Reserve.


Starbucks employs approximately 90 U.S. partners (employees) who serve in the military and are currently on active duty. In support of their efforts, Starbucks provides a supplement to make up the difference between their military pay and their pay level at Starbucks before they went on leave. The partner (employee) can continue health coverage, and family health coverage, if enrolled, for up to 18 months. Partners (employees) are guaranteed a position upon return from active duty, except in rare circumstances, as permitted under the Federal Military Leave Laws; additionally, tenure at Starbucks is also kept while on active duty.


To enhance our U.S. partnersí (employees) efforts in support of U.S. military troops, Starbucks is honored to extend our relationship with the American Red Cross in order to provide more coffee to relief efforts during times of conflict. On multiple occasions, Starbucks has donated a total of more than 100,000 lbs of coffee to the American Red Cross for distribution to those troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

Contact Information:

Starbucks Coffee Company

Customer Relations
(800) 235-2883