Written by: Jenny Hale
As of 2013, the projected veteran population according to the Department of Veteran Affairs was 21,973,000. According to the PEW Research Center , 21 percent of veterans surveyed said that coming home was somewhat difficult. Post-9/11 Veterans have reported having more problems transitioning than veterans of Vietnam or World War II. Many of these difficulties stem from joblessness, PTSD and other service-related disabilities.
In 2011, President Obama created the Veterans Opportunity to Work and Hire Heroes Act (VOW). The law requires transitioning servicemembers to attend the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) called Transition GPS, before separating from the military. The program is also offered virtually.
The Transition GPS program provides pre-separation counseling offering one-on-one advice before leaving the service. The program also provides Veterans Assistance benefit briefings to allow service members to understand their resources.
In addition, employment workshops are offered that help soldiers decide on career tracks in technical training, education and entrepreneurship.
Other programs available based on a specific branch are listed below:
ARMY: Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP)
AIR FORCE: Airman and Family Readiness Center
MARINES: Career Resource Management Center (CRMC)
COAST GUARD: Worklife Division for Transition
VetNet is another resource for transitioning servicemembers. Three training tracks are provided to veterans interested in learning resume and career skills, networking with possible career connections learning how to start a businesses. VetNet collaborates with Hire Heroes USA and the Institute for Veterans and Military families to help veterans and their families find meaningful careers after leaving the service.
Veteran’s Career Transition Program (VCTP)
Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families also has various resources for current veterans interested in starting a new career The Veterans Career Transition Program is offered at no-cost to post-9/11 veterans and their spouses. The program offers a professional skills, tech and independent study track to allow veterans to gain the skills necessary to succeed in the civilian work place.
Career programs may not be the only transitioning resources veterans may need.
460,000 of post-9/11 veterans are said to suffer from PTSD, which accounts for 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The National Center for PTSD educates veterans and their families on military trauma and resources to cope.
In 2013, the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium reported 5,522,589 veterans having a service-related disability. It accounted for a rate of 28.5 percent of all veterans in the United States. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program through the VA helps veterans with service-related disabilities find careers through access to employment and independent living options.
The United States over the past several years has become dedicated to helping veterans find the support they need during the winding down of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. During this time, various programs have been created to ease the transition.
If you have any additional programs that you would like to be mentioned, please contact us here at IVMF with your suggestions.
Jenny Hale is currently a Public Relations graduate student at the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Hale is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management with degrees in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Her minor is in Native American Studies. Hale has spent time volunteering at the VA Hospital and is an active military and veteran supporter. She is currently a public relations and marketing intern at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.