Leaving the Military can be a daunting event in and of itself. After years of identifying with a rank, uniform, and even a different name — we find ourselves culture shocked upon losing them, as if our very identity was once again stripped from us. Unlike before, when there’s a boot camp or training sequence that teaches us how to survive in an alien system of aggression and intensity, we now find ourselves on our own, trying to figure our way through the void that is Military transition.
How do we stick out from the crowd? In terms of employment, it can be difficult. Without any sort of reintegration process given to us, we come into the private World at a 10 when we need to be at a 5. Learning how to be human again in this process can sometimes feel impossible. Without clear lines of differentiation such as rank, billet, cutting score, or fitness reports that measured your value while serving, all we have left is one piece of computer paper called a resume for which to define us.
Understanding how to translate Military skills to civilianese tends to be difficult for a lot of Vets. Our individuality was taken from us, now we are forced to talk about ourselves and give ourselves credit where credit is due — yet another obstacle in the process. Attending college can be a great integration alternative. It gives us time to transition within ourselves by forcing us to change the way we think, act, say, do, and focus on.
But with only ten percent of Veterans taking advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill — there seems to be a disconnect between education and the Veteran community.
A lot of Vets claim that they don’t need a piece of paper that says “I’m smarter,” but like Anna and I discuss in the clip showed above, attaining higher education provides someone with so many tangible and easily transferrable skills in the work place. Beyond that, it shows employers that you have the capacity to meet objectives and accomplish commitments outside the Military.
You can learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill here
You can learn more about Anna here
You can learn more about the Camaraderie Foundation here
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