Last week, the Center for New American Security (CNAS) released the latest installment from their “Voices from the Field” series of reports.

Written by two U.S. Army officers, LTG William B. Caldwell IV, and Major Crispin J. Burke, “America’s Veterans: A Sound Investmentexamines the challenges veterans face in a post 9/11 world, as they transition to the civilian workforce.

In the report, Caldwell and Burke reached the following conclusions:

1.) Veterans have incredible work experience in the military. Employers are generally unaware of the skills (adaptability, hard work, creativity, etc), due to the growing civil-military divide.

2.) Veterans are often the victim of unfair stereotypes, which cause a stigma during a job search.

3.) Hiring veterans is a proven investment for businesses. The U.S. government needs to do a better job of synchronizing its efforts to link employers with veterans. It’s not for lack of trying, or for money- the organization isn’t exactly where it needs to be.

“Hiring managers are often unaware of the vast array of skills and character traits America’s veterans bring with them,” said study author Maj. Crispin Burke. “I hope we can learn to look past some of the sensational stereotypes, and better understand the qualities and values our veterans have attained as a result of their service. Our veterans don’t need charity…they need an opportunity to serve others once again.”

The report seeks to clear up some timely misconceptions, myths, and facts about veterans; including information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is often a reason cited why employers may hesitate to hire veterans. Caldwell and Burke seek to dispel any notion that veterans are unemployable, or even undesirable, due to PTSD and other erroneous information which is often played up in the media.

From the report:

“Civilians should be aware of three important facts regarding PTSD:

First, most combat veterans do not suffer from PTSD.

Second, not everyone with PTSD is a military veteran – nearly 7 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.

Finally, those who receive treatment for PTSD generally go on to lead happy, successful lives. “

In conclusion to the report, the authors make the case for veteran employment by appealing to employers, and the public, to give veterans a chance to prove their value and benefit from their “education, experience and demonstrated commitment to excellence.”

You can download a copy of the report form the CNAS website here.


About the authors of the report:

LTG William B. Caldwell, IV has served in a variety of command and staff positions during his 37 years of military service. He is preparing to retire and assume duties as the President of Georgia Military College.

Crispin J. Burke has served as a U.S. Army Aviator for the past ten years. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Diana M. Rodriguez is a native Washingtonian who works as a professional freelance writer, commentator, and blogger; as well as a public affairs, website content and social media manager for the Department of Defense.