In the August 2015 issue of the US Naval Institute’s publication Proceedings Magazine, Lieutenant Edward Wright, US Navy, addressed the need for a comprehensive plan regarding veteran employment in his article “Better Than When They Came”.
In spite of historical—and even recent—moves to address veteran unemployment, it is still an enormous concern, particularly in men aged 18 to 25, for whom the unemployment rate is 8.5 percent higher than the unemployment rate for civilians of that age group. One of the main culprits for this disparity is lack of preparation. While an improved Transition Assistance Program has offered some relief for enlisted individuals seeking to make plans for civilian life, it lacks power when no peers, or, particularly, superiors are talking about the need for careful preparation.
“One likely explanation for why officers don’t make transition education and training a priority,” reports Lt. Wright, “is that transition is less of a personal concern for them than for enlisted personnel, who are 30 percent less likely than officers to serve the full 20 years or more required to receive the military’s generous defined-benefits retirement.”
It makes sense at first glance, but policy must change in order to properly serve the 87% of officers who don’t retire from the military,