gonzalo.veteransThe biggest problem with Taking Off the Boots To Put On A Suit is the transition from service member to civilian. Every service member knows that the mission to protect America comes first. This means your time while in service is consumed with tactical and strategic job requirements. Service members are compelled with a year to maneuver and formulate their transition out of the armed forces.

The term for one’s framework and convenience is unfortunately based on what you are granted. This factor can cause spending months exploring a new career…or a week….before you receive your discharge papers called a DD-214.  Once you have your DD-214, the new Veteran can finally take hold of opportunities that have been on hold and or begin the process with no authority holding them back.

General Pace former Chief of Staff has stated, “After we defeat the armed forces of Iraq …we will want to and need to provide stability throughout that country”.  On my recent venture, I unsuccessfully negotiated an attempt of getting the General as our keynote speaker for our Town Hall Meeting in March. His words emphasize a dilemma that we, the members of the Armed Forces, are bestowed in providing stability to other nations. This stability includes funding and training for their economy and infrastructure. Yet the ones who provide that service upon their return find more difficulties reintegrating to the civilian world.

Our goal is to give Veterans the knowledge needed to choose which method would be best to reintegrate into the civilian workforce as well as seek employment which is crucial in beginning a new life and career.

There are many scenarios regarding how Veterans transition into the civilian workforce.  Next month, we will publish an article, Transition From Military To Civilian, that details the favorable and dreadful segments of the process. The challenges Veterans face range from not knowing how to explain their resumes, to employers not knowing how to interpret them, and justifying why a Veteran is more competent than the average individual with their expertise.

In the recent years, I have notice a trend where organizations and agencies adopt a Veteran initiative. The concept is simple, you take an employee, the resources you already supply and you slap on a Veteran representative title. Now you have a new initiative and now entitled to the funding it generates; we only hope that the person chosen as the representative is knowledgeable on Veterans. This is not to say that organizations and individual’s hearts are not in the right place or that the work done is not beneficial but navigating through the system is at sometimes very difficult due to these issues.  

  • The corporate world is the most lucrative therefore the most sought out of the options because they are very structured and detailed. To penetrate into the corporate programs you must be absolutely prepared. There is mentorship and educational curriculums offered but their demands are just has high as the possibility of revenue from it.  To name the companies that support Veterans would require a lengthier article and the names are widely notorious.     
  • The non-profits sector helps Veterans in so many ways. They provide opportunities to help develop the physical and mental aspects of returning Veterans home. But there is also the assistance to become stable in stages within a community environment. I find this option most effective because it brings the civilian and Veteran population in a positive atmosphere. They go as far as mentoring, promoting and facilitating the employment process. Everything depends on the mission statement on how and in what capacity they will assist. Searching and reviewing what’s out there is key but the point is that you have the ability to do so.  
  • The state offers a variety of assistance to Veterans, which include funding and programs. For the ones at a disadvantage the State’s ambition is to advise the Veteran into convalesce. The hope is that within time they will prosper. They also provided an unmatched resource in the labor force. The compensation may not be the highest but security and longevity is their focus. Depending on your education level and compensation you desire, we advocate this to be a good starting point. 
  • The federal government mandates the funding and regulations of all the affairs to operate and function. This it what the government was meant for and in the last 10 years there have been changes, updates and initiatives to help Veterans. I particularly enjoy the method of the review process they initiate for their programs they either improve upon or continue its process. Sometimes the approval process is longer than anyone would like but for this to be effective. We must make sure that we, the people appoint the right personnel into position. 

Devil Dog USA Inc.’s mission is to incorporate all these critical issues and guide Veterans through the process. One of our goals is to help Veterans before they are discharged and guide them through their transition process while on active duty. With the help of others and our reputation, we will soon be able to help those in that capacity on a larger scale. We extend our hands to every organization and agency, will you?

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