Posted on Nov 5, 2014
SGT Aaron Miranda
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Fellow Veterans And Military Members,

I have a presentation tomorrow with a major organization regarding veteran obstacles and hurdles. If it were you presenting, what would you say?

Please be constructive and do not be judgmental to your fellow veterans/ military members. Thank you.
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Responses: 8
CW5 Desk Officer
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Edited 7 y ago
I would say the #1 issue for separating veterans is jobs, plain and simple. There are many aspects that contribute to this "obstacle," and there are many ways major organizations can help vets overcome this obstacle. Depends on what type of organization ... Does it, for example, have an office, team, or specialist designated to look for ways to hire veterans?
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SGT Aaron Miranda
SGT Aaron Miranda
7 y
Good stuff. Definitely covering retention and employment hurdles.
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CPL Rick Stasny
CPL Rick Stasny
7 y
I agree with the Chief, if it is a law enforcement/corrections area. They are geared towards veterans and with a rank structure. They may not always pay the best, but they offer a level of security and have decent benefits.
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LTC Charles Sherman
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There's really quite a long list, to be honest. And picking out the "biggest obstacle" is hard to do. Sometimes it depends on the vet, and how he's coping or not with any issues he collected overseas, or how well he is or is not coping with the separation.

A very significant obstacle is finding work that utilizes the skills they have acquired, and which challenges them. It can be difficult for a civilian organization to translate military experience into a civilian context, and a lot of vets feel that the jobs they are offered are far less than they are capable of. The depth of military responsibilities doesn't always convert well into equivalent civilian levels of responsibility. So someone accustomed to supervising (in the broader military sense) 50 people can end up being offered a job that has no supervisory component. This contributes to a sense of dissatisfaction in vets, and unintentionally sends the message that one's military experience isn't valued or valuable.

Flexibility is another military experience that doesn't translate well. The fact that a vet doesn't have a specific skill set can be an obstacle to employment, when vets are confident that they can easily adjust their existing skill set to succeed and excel at that job. Again, this often leads to vets being offered jobs well below their abilities. While they will take these jobs...because a job is a job...the satisfaction is rarely enough to build loyalty to the company.

On the job, both of the things above along with the work ethic that most vets develop in their service, often contributes to the dissatisfaction. It's not unusual to hear from vets how lazy, slow, careless, and un-dedicated their coworkers are, making them wonder why they care or try so hard. I've had two different people tell me that they've actually been directed by their supervisors to slow down, or not to work as hard, because it makes the other employees look bad! That kind of thing reinforces the idea that the vet is working below his abilities, because the company either doesn't value or doesn't believe in his skills.

We could discuss solutions, but they are going to be different for each employer. But getting a good employee and then keeping him requires that companies recognize that military service develops a general set of skills that is challenging to quantify.
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SGT Aaron Miranda
SGT Aaron Miranda
7 y
You hit the nail on the head. I actually went over cultural difference and how it can be difficult for military veterans to adapt to the civilian culture. Most veterans average three different positions within eighteen months, initially after getting out of the service.
Military KSA translation to civilian positions can be a touchy subject to some employers. I love the," But it is different." My rebuttal is always why? If you really dig deep, the reason is they don't understand the tangibles and base their decisions on bias or perception. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing. Fear of PTS.
I deal with multiple companies every week to break those barriers. Veterans do not jobs that are good measure jobs. They want jobs that they have worked hard to earned.
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SGT Aaron Miranda
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Thank you everyone! I focused my presentation on employment, military bias, and barriers. It went well!
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