Veteran Unemployment vs. Civilian Unemployment: The Sad Facts

October 17, 2011 |

Land of equal opportunity? Sadly, not if you’re a veteran. It’s a story that’s received more attention over the past year, but a new Washington Post article titled “Veterans’ Unemployment Outpaces Civilian Rate” throws some stark statistics into the mix. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.7 percent of veterans are currently unemployed in the US, compared to 9.1 percent for the overall population.

Is there a solution to this lingering issue in sight? President Obama’s jobs package includes a tax credit of up to $9,600 for each unemployed veteran a company hires, but does money truly talk when it comes to hiring vets? In the Post article, Lionel Batty, vice president of corporate research at GrafTech International, says his company is making more of an effort to hire veterans, but it’s got nothing to do with tax breaks: “We’ll take them, but we don’t hire people because of tax credits. We do what’s right for our business.”

What it comes down to is what it’s always come down to: can companies understand and recognize the value that veterans bring to a business? The irony in all this is that companies are looking for workers who have “soft skills” – punctuality, teamwork, the ability to operate independently and take charge of a task. The Post puts it best: “The paradox for veterans is that those are qualities and skills they possess in abundance. Many employers say they value veterans’ leadership training, discipline and national service. The problem is that employers often have only the vaguest notion of what people learn in the military.”

The challenge for veterans is two-fold: first, find the companies who are actively seeking veteran workers, and then find ways to translate their skills so that companies understand what they bring to the table. We have some advice in that area, as well as a Military Ski

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at Military.com. His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.

Comments

  1. clarence murray jr says:

    yes i have a comment most people thank all we know how too do is march and solute and say yes sir and know mam to and shoot and blow-up things but speaking for me I catch on pretty fast too what-ever a job might-represent just because people go into the military does'nt mean there less then!

    • R. Peak says:

      I agree, I am a retired Marine and the best candidates that I interview by far are veterans. Some civilians can not sting together a sentence, but veterans are always impressive.

    • Dave D says:

      Clarence,
      I am a retired Marine that recruits and hires vets for a Major Hospital with 8,000 employees of all skills. However, one of the skills necessary is to be able to use the correct grammer and spelling when writing.Do you know that the computer will do that for you. Come on clean this up!

      • MGA says:

        I totally agree with you 200%. All these HR's looking for is a DAMN Bachellor degree written in the resume. They should focus their attention on the experiences of the veteran. The computer will take care of the spelling and grammar.

  2. Jason says:

    Yea I applied for Progressive Insurance as a Claims Customer Service Rep. Had the phone interview, lady said perfect answers. Used those same scenario's for the in person interview and seemed like it went well. Then I get told that they don't want me because I like too much structure and they are more relaxed. For one that was that stupid mental assessment and two I am all lax. I mean personally I was over qualified and I thought this job is too easy. But nope hiring manager didn't know anything. It is hard to translate what I did in the army to civilian terms when asked what I did. Shoot I did a lot, and these resume's only make it more difficult too. ACAP sucks and needs to be fixed.

    • April says:

      ACAP didn't teach me anything I didn't already know. It didn't prepare me for civilian life . I actually got turned down for a daycare job not cause I wasn't qualified but because I was in National Guard. I am still working for my Country and the person given my interview couldn't speak English. I was told that I am probably violent and couldn't handle the job. Who knows the military might need me. The daycare wasn't even open on weekends. This should have been against my rights as a soldier returning to civilian life. What is our world coming to when an American soldier can't get a job and the interviewer can't speak English? I should have been offended. This should have been reported but this is the life we live as Veterans.

  3. paul floyd says:

    I'm a 10yr vet of the USAF. I currently work in Iraq as a contractor. I whave been working in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past 7yrs. I love my country and i love my fellow soldiers. however they are always talking what good a soldier has done,but they have no idea what bad things they have done. alot of the new young soldiers are very rude and they shame the uniform that they wear. I have come in contact with alot of these soldiers. these soldiers have rape and sexually assaulted there fellow female soldiers. there are alot of good soldiers but there are alot of bad ones too.the problem is they continue to separate us as a whole. why does it have to be civilian versus military? before you became soldier you were a civilian. giving them that since superiority makes them think that they are better than anyone else. this however is far from the truth. I seen racist soldiers,I have seen gang member soldiers. my question is why should they receive special treatment? when u raise that hand to serve your country no one forced you to. just like no one forced me to come over here and support my fellow soldier.

    • DocAce says:

      Paul,

      Sadly, reading your post gives credibility to "Dave the veteran haters" idea that English is not our strong suit. I hate to tell you this but that paragraph made no sense at all, NONE! What the heck are you talking about!

      How the hell did you get in the USAF? I know the USAF requires higher entrance scores on the ASVAB than the other services. If you were in the USAF and that is a big IF, it's simply mind-boggling. (scratches head)

      BTW you were an Airman if you were in the USAF, NOT a fellow soldier.. phony

  4. jaa says:

    You are spot on in your assessment of civilian hiring managers. In the military we were taught to surround ourselves with people smarter than us and take care of them and we would benefit. But civilians think the exact opposite. The boss wants to be the smartest person so no one can take his place. No wonder the economy is failing, we have the dumb leading the dumber.

  5. RickG says:

    I have a B.S. degree in Construction Management and eight years commissioned service, and I've concluded that I'm less marketable today at age 45 than I was when I was 15. I attended OCS in 2003, attended OBC in 2004, and I have deployed a total of four years since 2005. There was only one occasion in 2008 in which I was able to work in my career field before being activated again, and I was proud to serve. But I have traded essential experience needed for my career field for the life of a stand-by soldier. As an armor officer I am committed to the call for military service, but I am dumbfounded by the fact that the only call that I qualify to get is the one that takes me back to the stan. I've observed that although there are 1000s of federal jobs available, many of which I'm qualified for but never eligible, they are announced as a matter of legal protocol but in truth are reserved on the principal of cronyism. Right now I have my fingers crossed for a job that pays $1349 a month with a company named the post 9/11 GI bill. Maybe I can become an intern, for free, and gain some more unmarketable experience.

  6. Matt says:

    Amazing comments and they are all true. We have the blind leading the blind in the country, and stupid lazy civilian work ethic and group of over educated, no common sense HR morons, worried about some research study, done by someone that has probably never worked a real job in their life, where if step 1,2,3,4,5 is not explained in detail to them, they become confused, agitated and shut down, where as if they hired a Vet, they whould go through step 1-5 and if they encountered a problem, they would solve it on the spot and not have to raise their hand, or "talk to the boss" No, it would get done.

  7. Dr. John says:

    As a 20+ year (1970 – 1994) USAF veteran upon retirement I was initially unable to secure employment (my era vets were not well received). That was 17 years ago. I dumbed down my resume, removed anything that spoke to my DoD affiliation and took on any work available; golf cart repair, small appliance repair, truck driver. I took up my Veteran benefits and went back to school. Completed my BSIS and MSE in 4yrs (and have completed my Doctorate of Sciences since). I applied to the civil service and was considered over qualified for the positions applied for. I was hired by a defense contractor who was having difficulty finding self motivated technical engineers willing to travel. Eleven exceptional years with that employer I was downsized. I am now the Chief Operating Officer of a Service Disabled Veteran Owned small business.

  8. Dr. John says:

    Our preference is to hire vets. Our issue has been many of the young men and women that have responded, provide very poorly written resumes that do not reflect their skills, knowledge and abilities nor do they include professional certifications in their professed expertise. A number who have come to our offices do not present themselves in a professional manner. Those that we have hired are educated, individually motivated, professionals just as they were in uniform.

    • Dave says:

      Bingo! This is what I was talking about in my post below. While this website likes to romanticize and play-up veterans and their skills, fact is, many of them do NOT have the skills required to succeed in the private sector.

      Just look at the comments in this thread. Half of them are written by people who don't appear to write at even a 9th grade level. I'm not saying that to insult people, but rather to point out that the reality and the rhetoric about veterans, often don't match.

      The military is very different from the private sector. The military mostly frowns upon individual, critical thinking. Which, ironically, is the skill most civilian employers want these days in their new hires!

      • Paul says:

        Dave,
        You're a fucking dumbass. How's that for proper grammar, douche bag. Most of you civilians don't even know what a work ethic is. All you do at work is everything but your job. You all read your books and bitch about assignments. In the military we are taught to suck it the fuck up and get it done. Not bitch and moan about how hard something is. Go fuck yourself buddy.
        P.S.
        All I’ve seen in the civilian sector is laziness. I once thought everyone in the Military was lazy and dumb not anymore.
        .

  9. Dr. John says:

    My point is that there are jobs to be had for veterans just as there are for civilians. Those skilled soldiers, sailors, marines and airman who were dedicated, educated, individually motivated, professionals will find the job market challenging but because of who they are will persevere. Those looking to be hired because they served are likely to struggle a long time. My Zoomie background has provided me a mantra to success… "Aim High"

  10. Tom Huxley says:

    BEST BET HIRE A VET

  11. Dave says:

    I love these politically-correct, feel-good articles on military.com. Fact is, many veterans are ill-equiped to handle the competitive rigors of civilian employment after working a government job (which is what the military is) for so many years. This is precisely why so many veterans seek government jobs first before venturing out into the private sector. Uncle Sugar is safe and comfy, and less demanding than the private sector.

    I spent 10 years in the Army, and frankly, most of my fellow enlisted soldiers were immature, uneducated people who needed the structure of being told what to do 24/7. But the private sector doesn't work like that. And people who are used to being told what to do for 20 years, tend to not have well-developed critical thinking skills…the type of which the private sector wants.

    Let's stop the politically-correct BS. Many veterans lack the education, soft skills and competitive drive to thrive in the private sector. I've seen this first-hand many times. But if it makes people happy to pretend like this isn't true, well…I'm sure there's a wonderful government job somewhere just waiting for you.

  12. SUBMARINE CHIEF PETTY OFFICER RETIRED says:

    I have worked in the civilian sector for 13 yrs. now and I have seen significant differences in leadership styles and supervisory skills. In my opinion, as long as a company values its “bottom line” over its employees welfare, they’ll never value the true leadership abilities of veterans. Civilian leaders/supervisors are not held accountable for their employees mistakes, they simply fire the culprit and hire the next drone in line. Prevent a company from firing employees for say 4 yrs.(a typical tour of duty length of time), and deal with all aspects of their employees lives and you’ll quickly weed out the leaders from the task masters! The companies don’t truly want ex- military leaders because we tend to value personnel more than making a buck. We chastise our leaders if need be, we don’t burnout personnel then unload them. We truly value our people and put leaders in charge of this important asset. THAT’S WHY THE US MILITARY IS THE BEST TRAINED LEADERS IN THE WORLD! If you don’t care about your employees welfare don’t hire a veteran.

    • Anthony says:

      Thankyou. You have hit the nail on the head. All civilian jobs value the almighty dollar over the people they employee. Cut the pay of the laborer, raise the bonuses for the worthless leadership sitting on their butts who are taking credit for the few motivated individuals who can operate out of the box, and sell out as quick as possible.

  13. Tinkerite says:

    As USAF veteran with 20+ years experience in customer service, shipping & receiving, operations and logistics and a Bachelors in Logistics Management I can say I have experienced many of the same road blocks. Yes the employers are intimidated with our experience, education, and can-do attitude. All I can say is keep your mental toughness and positive attitudes, it will pay off in the long run. It took 2 yrs to get hired on as a federal worker and I still perform far less than what I am capable of doing. It is all a TIS, TIG, and who's your buddy game and not based on your qualifications.

    • Dave says:

      “It took two years to get hired on as a federal worker…”

      Perhaps that’s the problem…you are still working within the context of a dysfunctional government job, where there is no accountability in the form of having to account to a P&L (profit and loss) statement.

      Why do veterans feel like they are entitled to, and why do they seek, government employment? Come to the private sector, prove your worth, and you’ll be amazed at how those types of problems don’t seem to exist to nearly the same degree. Real accountability is funny that way.

      BTW, from which university did you obtain your degree? If it was one of those schools which primarily “serves” military personnel (and exists solely to collect government-funded tuition dollars), that might be part of the problem in finding gainful private-sector employment.

  14. Dave says:

    You’re absolutely correct Submarine CPO…

    When civilian employers don’t hire vets, it’s OBVIOUSLY because those employers don’t care about the welfare of their employees.

    It has nothing to do with the fact that many vets lack critical thinking skills. It has nothing to do with the fact that many vets wouldn’t be able to pass the standardized English language tests that today’s high-school seniors must pass to get a diploma. And it has nothing to do with the fact that vets were actively discouraged from thinking for themselves during their enlistment, when today’s civilian employers in our knowledge economy want prospective employees to be able to…think for themselves. Nope, it’s all just a big CONSPIRACY against veterans!

    Submarine CPO, you sound EXACTLY like someone who has spent 20 years working in a government job. And perhaps, in all truth, THAT’S the real problem.

  15. Adon says:

    I work on joint base Lewis McChord in the public works dept and they are hiring civilians over prior service military vets .

  16. DocAce says:

    Dave, Dave, Dave……… You're not a vet, and you resent vets yes! You never had the balls to defend anything but your trivial opinions, you’re an 80s guy, I can smell it.

    Sorry to inform you but Yes we are entitled that is just the way it is. Another thing that will get me to fall fast asleep tonight is that here is NOTHING you can do about it – nothing. Hiring preference is kind of like a reward for protecting your "hide in the corner" civilian ass when you otherwise can’t or won’t . Dave when you start thinking about someone other than yourself you will see why veterans get some of the benefits they do, however I doubt that day will ever come to pass in your uninspiring life.

    To tell you the truth you sound like an unemployed or underemployed worker, a wanna be federal employee that keeps NOT getting the job. Sorry to tell you but keep waiting on that GS10 position, there are 1000's of veterans with preference that will get the jobs before YOU!! You should have enlisted back in the day, but you’re too old now huh? Ahh regrets.

    BTW, I graduated from The New York Institute of Technology Old Westbury NY. I was a Business major, since you asked that is, and no they don't cater to the military at NYIT. But they should, either way that did not deter me from attending; my tuition was PAID in full baby!! Why was it paid in full you might ask, I'm going say it so block your ears Dave, I am a veteran!!

    However I am curious about your statistics on a veteran's functional intelligence. Can you tell everyone here where they came from? I would be interested to take a look, post a link if you could. However I will not hold my breath waiting. Why because they are YOUR baseless personal opinions and you have no foundation whatsoever to be spewing such obvious nonsense. If you are going to say it prove it, none of which you can do.

    Bottom line, sell the sarcastic tough internet guy facade somewhere else, you don't impress anyone we have seen this before. Your feelings are just not that important (I bet you have heard that before too). Your opinions really don’t count whatsoever, let’s be honest Dave you are just a plain nobody that can’t get a job.

    I think that sums you up pretty good.

    • Dave says:

      DocAce, you questioning my service, doesn’t invalidate my opinions. I served 4 years active at I Corps, Ft. Lewis and 6 years in the Guard. Today, I am a successful hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company in Seattle. So unfortunately, my opinions come from direct experience with vets.

      Far too many vets don’t have well-developed “soft skills” and far too many come to interviews with an unprofessional, “I am entitled to this job” attitude. It’s the exact same attitude I see in many of the posts here, including yours. And when we DO hire a vet, too many have what I would call a “government worker attitude” about their work.

      Being a veteran myself, I am not “anti-vet”. However, I am tired of reading politically-correct, feel-good rubbish about how “great” veterans are as employees, when my direct observation and experience suggests that far too many vets are completely unprepared to succeed in the private sector. If it makes you feel better to pretend that this isn't the case, so be it.

      • SSG S says:

        Dave, You on spot on and thank you for pointing all this out. I'm currently 13 years in my active enlist and far too many times a vet or his spouse for that matter will carry their rank to the cilivian side "i'm a SMG in the Army"…..No, your just a cilivian is what i always have to tell most of these vets.

  17. CavA3R4-25I.D. says:

    When I got out of the army (retired) in 1969, Civilian society for the most part hated GI's. I found that my best bet was to get a job as a contract worker (temporary, we used to call them "job shoppers" in the manufacturing engineering business). After you worked there for a year, you would usually be offered a so called full time position.
    Hope this Helps.

  18. 1969-1992, when I got out very difficult to get a job but had children who like to eat, so I did whatever it took, janitor, auto store sales, etc. I tried the Cincinati police, I had a BS, bi-lingual, 18 min 3 mile. they asked me if i was a minority and I told them Latino and I was told wrong minority. Too old for OHP. Was hired by a Lindner company and i loved it, but some of the young college managers found out I was a retired Marine and told me I was stupid to have joined. Someone else could of done the job? No one knows what we do nor do they care.

  19. RVF says:

    PJM – It is sad to say one that confesses to being an officer in the Army is so quickly to turn his back on those that served and agree with someone that has obviously has not served and has prejudice against those that have. So based on Dave’s statement you lack critical thinking skills, unable to pass the standardized English language test, and unable to think for yourself. I am afraid if you agree with his assessment you fall into that same category. With 28 years of mindless service how could you possibly think for yourself?

    Now the truth of the matter is, are there those in the military that lack writing and English skills? Yes, but not all jobs require writing skills and would say it would be the same for those that have not served, let’s face it they were civilians before they were vets. Based on Dave’s statement most vets cannot pass the standardized English test given today’s high school students. Think about that statement for a minute, how old do you think most vets are when they get out. Most that are getting out are those that have served their first enlistment and have passed that test only a few years ago.

    • Dave says:

      RFV, as with DocAce, you trying to pretend as if I didn't serve, won't invalidate my comments. Why do you find it so hard to believe that a fellow veteran might be unimpressed with the skills of other veterans exiting military service?

      You know, at my company, we give all potential new hires a basic skills proficiency test. The failure rate on that test as a whole is about 22%, but the failure rate amongst vets is almost 60%. Given how military.com assures us that vets are always very qualified, how can that be?!? I'll tell you how: the military generally does not require nor does it teach many of the basic skills needed for success in civilian employment.

      Rather than get defensive about this fact, perhaps you can encourage the military to do a better job of ensuring that ETS'ing soldiers aren't setting themselves up for failure by going into a competitive civilian job market without the skills necessary to make it in that market.

      How unreasonable of me to say this, right?

  20. RVF says:

    Our vets lack critical thinking? PJM, I wonder when you retired? Do you have any idea what our present day warriors are doing on a daily basis? The boots on the ground have to solve problems on a daily basis. They are constantly stepping to uncharted areas that former warriors did not have to face. They have been sent to war, but have been given numerous restrictions on their actions. Instead of fighting an enemy on the battlefields that were known to past warriors, it is inside cities that people are trying to live their daily life. Our warriors are required to be the law enforcement, problem solver and local government, while still having to fight for their lives. All this is not just being done by those in a command position, but as well as by those junior enlisted and junior officers. Our present warriors have to have critical thinking and the ability to solve problems on the go.

  21. RVF says:

    Do I think we as vets deserve special treatment, the answer is NO. What I do think we deserve is a fair shake. Statements that think we are mindless drones are what vets are facing. The civilian world has little understanding of what those that serve have to offer. If I as a military leader has the ability to motivate men/women when they are cold, wet and it is dark outside to continue to drive on, that mission accomplishment is priority one and failure is not an option. You can bet I can motivate a team of a company to be successful and achieve the goals that the company is striving to reach.

    • RVF says:

      There are so many things that a vet has to offer. While they were in, they were taught that being on time meant when the 1SG called fall in, if you were not in the formation you were late, even if he called it a few minutes early, so they will be on time. 40 hour work weeks were something you dreamed about, a normal week consisted of 50 or more, so they are willing to work the needed hours. Team work is a must, Rambo doesn’t exist, and together we can accomplish anything, they understand about pulling their weight and helping their teammate when needed. They have worked without direct supervision and had to think on your feet, makes them easier to manage. Most that has reached a junior NCO rank or higher has done more than manage personnel.

      • RVF says:

        As Submarine CPO stated, our military leaders are just that leaders, they are required to train, mentor, guide, motivate and punish those that they are responsible for, the option of firing and getting a replacement is a long drawn out process at best. Our military leaders have an invested interest of training those that they lead, the life their subordinate may save may be their own. Vets have been put through more and expected more than most, with that experience they have a lot to offer a civilian employee.

        • RVF says:

          Do we have those that are unfit? Yes, we have our problem children in the service. I would venture to say if you looked back into their military career, their career would show it. Just as any company or business out there has had those that were not fit, but basing an opinion of a company off of that individual is wrong, it is wrong to base your opinion of us that have served on the few that were unfit.

          • RVF says:

            CPO Submarine – as we in the military were given missions, mission accomplishment was the bottom line. Along with that bottom line we took risk that could cost us our lives, the mission was what it was. During the mission of course you looked out for one another, but mission success was the priority, others depend on you. We as vets need to take that same enthusiasm to our civilian employer. What is mission success to a company, it is to make a profit. Of course a good company will care about its employees, but the reality is if the company does not make a profit, the company folds. As an employee your number one goal when you go into work is how you will help make your company money. When you go to work, you expect to make money, it has to be the same for a company to stay in business.

          • RVF says:

            This should not be about us (vets) against them (civilians). It should be about educating the civilian world that our vets are more than mindless individuals that go off to war to fight our countries battles. They have a lot to offer, although sometimes the translation over from military terminology to civilian terminology takes a bit. PJM- I would suggest that after serving 28 years, you should really look at those that have served over you, along side of you and below you. Unless you feel everything that was accomplished was done solely by you, you should reconsider your statement. You should try to see how that same commitment from those individuals could actually be useful for our companies and our economy.

            Don’t just thank a vet, hire one.

  22. Wade says:

    I was a helicopter crew chief and mechanic for about 6 years in the marine corps. The work required major problem solving and communication skills. The guys I worked with were all smart people. The usual work day was generally around 10 hours, at times the work day was 15 to 16 hours a day, and during the war the day was 20 to 24 hours a day.

    The Marine Corps was definitely the hardest yet most rewarding job I ever had. I have recently graduated college and although some things I learned were difficult they didn't come close to the difficult things I had to learn with my MOS. I think for the most part, vets are intelligent.

    Before I went to college I definitely got the feeling would be employers were intimidated by me. I think they may have looked at it like " I don,t want this guy barking orders at everyone" or " this guy is going to come in here and make me look stupid". I stopped putting all of my ribbons and metals on my resume, it felt like employers were thinking "this guy could be some overbearing crazy war nut". Sad but true. I had the feeling employers were threatened by me sometimes.

    • Allen says:

      Wade, you shouldn't put "metals" on your Resume', that would be hard to fax or email. ;)

      I kid…I kid.

      I agree about the respective employers being threatened. They don't want one of "us" coming in and taking their cushy job.

  23. Allen says:

    It's hard to get hired in a civilian company, the "powers that be" are scared one of us will take THEIR JOB.

  24. Dave says:

    I’ve seen several posts in this thread claim, “Civilians won’t hire us because they’re SCARED of us!” Sorry, but that just isn't so.

    Many vets that apply for positions at my company cannot write at a proficient level (as evidenced by their often horrible resumes and cover letters), they come to interviews on a surprisingly regular basis with an attitude, they often don’t do well in an abstract work environment where there isn’t a rule, regulation and procedure for everything, and they are often stuck in their ways…something that is fatal to a fast-moving, profit-seeking private enterprise. It’s not that anyone is scared of you per se, but rather we’re scared that you don’t understand and aren’t equipped for the very different dynamics of private sector employment.

    Are there good vets out there? Absolutey. Are there far too many who, after years in a highly structured military environment, are not equipped to succeed in the private sector? Absolutely. Is there a lot of propaganda on sites like this about how “great” all vets are as workers? Most certainly.

  25. SSG S says:

    Dave, You on spot on and thank you for pointing all this out. I'm currently 13 years in my active enlist and far too many times a vet or his spouse for that matter will carry their rank to the cilivian side "i'm a SMG in the Army"…..No, your just a cilivian is what i always have to tell most of these vets.

  26. Msgtofmsgt says:

    I spent 21 years on active duty and have spent the last nine years in the private sector. Rest assured the civilian sector has bias againts veterans but this is due the lack of understanding what vets can bring to the table. I had no problems getting a management postion after my discharge with a law firm. This was mainly due to the fact I earned a Master's Degree going to night school and several on line programs. The civilian sectors loves seeing civilian accomplishments in addition to a military background. Veterans must convey to their future employers what skills sets they have that can help make any organization succesfull. Private Civilan employers owe us nothing but a fair and equal opportunity for a chance at employment. It is up to the veteran to convey this in civilan terms.

  27. BJ Rehmer says:

    Many veterans are unfairly denied entrance into many jobs due to a supposed lack of experience. The fact that these veterans have been deployed for years fighting a war seems to be lost upon most employers. If the vets are not hired..how will they gain the experience. I work construction and see this all the time. Chase Ford spoke up against it and was labeled a TROUBLEMAKER for simply telling the truth..Becon Construction even attempted to fire him for it. Caring for these vets and training them for civilian employment should be a SHARED responsibility between citizens and businesses..but businesses are more worried about profits..even as they profit from contracts with the military..and then turn their backs on the veterans when they get back home.

  28. Fed Up says:

    I remember one of the first civilian jobs I had when I got out of the military. It was primarily a clerical job but there was a LOT of work to be done. I did NOT mind it because I also had a LOT of work while in the service. Anyway, I didn't take too many "coffee breaks" and I would bring a sandwich to work (to save money) and eat lunch at my desk while trying to complete my assignments. Those were habits I acquired in the service. My civilian co-workers did NOT appreciate this or like me very much because they believed I was trying to make them look "bad.". They did their best to sabotage me by not providing info I needed to do my job in a timely manner. Eventually I got laid off due to "downsizing" and it took me a LONG time to find another job. I believe that I lost my job to backstabbing. If you're TOO GOOD at your job you are a threat and a target. As for all those veterans jobs out there, DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!

  29. Mark says:

    I agree with all of the above. I did the Blue to Green program in 2006. I was Active Air Force for 6 1/2 yrs and Active Army for 4. In the AF I was an Aircraft Ground Equiment Mechanic ( Journeymen) 2A652 and Communications Specialist 25U in the Army. I went through NCO schools for both branches not to mention the responsiblilty of both career fields. Served Operatin Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom. I became a widowed father of 2 kids in 06 a year later I was over seas. I figured with both back grounds I should be able to get a good job. Yeah no. I've been out 2 1/2 yrs and have had 2 jobs. Laid off from one do to Caterpillar cut backs and had to quit the other one when I went back to school and tried to pull a mini mester, work part time and take care of kids and a house. Didn't work. I continued with school. I've put resumes out on federal and state job sites and even for civilian jobs. That Vet preference thing. I don't believe it. Even with a disability rating. Hell there's Convicts that get jobs and better ones than we do. It kills me that we are good enough to put our lives on the line for the rest of the COUNTRY. But not good enough to hire when we get out.

  30. gjohnson says:

    As a veteran I also can share your experience with you and it is a shame with their ignorant mindset. I worked hard at receiving a associate degree and a bachelors and a master degree and was treated as if I had leprocy. I also felt the same as you about job searches. You would think they would be glad to have someone with education and work ethics on board but no they dont want you.

  31. Jose says:

    I just went thru that today, applying for a job at a major airline. Why ask in the forms: Are you a Veteran? and then give the jobs to kids 25 years yonger with no education nor military experience. That hurt me; specially when you know you did great in the interview process.

  32. "CC" says:

    Oh how right! I retired Army. Went to work for an Army hospital, where I retird. Mostly the younger employee told me to relax and just do what I had to do. They would finish what was required hen go to the lounge and sleep, watch tv or do their homework.

    More than once I said theres still work that could be done but was shrugged off. When I confronted my supervisors they said why are you pushing, you trying to make management? I just think if you're hired to do a job – do it and do it better than necessary. I was getting good pay by a contract company. I had my hours cut in half and changed to hours I couldn't work because I watched my grandchildren in the day. Civilian are so lazy they don't understand how military work until "the mission is completer".

  33. Mil and Civ Vet says:

    After reading your post I felt like I was the one who wrote it. Man are you dead on. I am an Army Vet, not retired, and I brought that same feeling onto a bunch of civilians in the Federal Government when I transfered from my previous Supervisory job in DOD. So, don't feel bad, feel worst. The Federal Government is hiring a bunch of selfish cowards to lead their ranks and block people like you and me from progressing. I have over 29 years of Federal Service, most of which were with DOD, and I have never seen such piss-poor leaders in my life.

    But as a true believer of being a good follower in-order to be a good leader, I give them 109% of myself and use that 1% to keep myself from laughing when they hang themselves for not listening to the voice of experience.

  34. Kate says:

    I just wanted to let you know that we provide career coaching especially for veterans transitioning from the military to civilian professional worlds. I think what happens to you happens a lot and we work with veterans to help them verbalize their experience and what they bring to the table in a way that isn't threatening to potential bosses or coworkers.

  35. Daniel Bruner says:

    I believe that you may be my long, lost twin. Well said! I did eventually find a position that suits me, after my retirement and finishing college, but my interviews went the same way that you describe, almost to the letter. Thank you for your input.