In business as in battle, timing can be your best weapon. Former army ranger Jim Tully and his partners, all ex-officers, evidently knew when to strike when they launched an employment firm for discharged military personnel just two days before the Persian Gulf War began. Orion Consulting Group, in Raleigh, N.C., places only junior officers into the ranks of company management as manufacturing, engineering, or operations supervisors and executives. Reductions in the armed forces ensure a healthy supply of officers, Tully reports. And victory in the Middle East has provided an ideal sales tool. "Selling these people as effective managers just got easier," Tully says.

-- Anne Murphy