Step Up for America – Apply Military Veteran Skill Sets To American Challenges

step up for America veteran

This Content Provided Courtesy of USAA.

A Pew Research Center report on post 9/11 veterans in America detailed both the pride and the problems that have faced the most recent generation of America’s veterans.  Despite a period of sacrifice that has gone on longer than the Vietnam War, the overwhelming majority of veterans are proud of their service and believe the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have made them better people.  Veterans have given a lot to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, it is time that veterans revive the sacrifice they gave overseas and help solve the greatest challenges facing America.

America’s problems are enormous.  The challenges of unemployment, education, housing, innovation, government, economic revitalization, and business growth are not too big to be solved, but they are too big to continue to be disregarded.  Military veterans are the solution to be the vanguard to lead America through these challenges.

Why Veterans?  Veterans possess an intense ethical focus, they live leadership-by-example, and they have skills that immediately translate for use in a wide variety of industries.  Military veteran skill sets reside in planning, post completion problem analysis, the use of rehearsals, competitive analysis, team leadership, coaching, risk management, back up plans, war-gaming, and decision making.  These skill sets are desperately needed everywhere.

Here is how veterans can start to help:

Elected Office.  If you are feed up with government, then do something at the local and state level.  The local and state challenges of matching budgets with needs are an enormous challenge and require capable leaders.  You may not know it yet, but your PTA, city council, and state legislature needs your help.

Entrepreneurship.  All of the great business ideas are not already out there.  Businesses form around a group of people that have a way to satisfy an unmet customer need in a profitable fashion.  Do not worry about starting big.  Get a great idea, satisfy customers, be profitable, hire, and grow.  Believe in yourself and your ideas.

Healthcare, Education & Government.  Industries that help people such as Education, Government, Healthcare, and other services need great people.  Many of these industries have a 50+ average age and will see the start of a massive retirement book in 4-5 years.  Get in at the ground floor and help people that really need your skills.  Veterans know how to build teams, create a plan, lead, follow orders, and exercise initiative.

Higher Education.  The Post 9/11 GI Bill was the most positive piece of veteran focused legislation in decades.  Veterans in education need to focus on two things while using their GI Bill.  First, complete your education and help others do so.  Veterans not attaining their post-military education goals remain too high – help others stay in school and complete their degrees.  Second, focus your education on skills in technology, education, health care, business, science, engineering, and mathematics that will create a competitive edge for your future and the future of America.

Veteran Unemployment and Underemployment.  Veteran under employment remains shockingly high and no government program will have a significant and lasting impact on its reduction.  Even with high unemployment, businesses still hire people that show how they can grow revenue, solve operational problems, and reduce costs.  The military skills veterans have will help a company succeed.  Business needs to focus on how to translate and apply military skills to business in the areas of leadership, planning, competitive analysis, and safety.

Volunteer.  There continues to be an intense and ongoing need for after school programs, tutoring, food banks, homeless shelters, and job fairs to name only a few.  If you have time, volunteer to help others and help veterans succeed in their career transition.  The thanks of a child as you help them master a new book will be rewarded.

It Starts Today.  The country is extremely grateful for the service of veterans in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also the previous generation of veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Gulf War I, Bosnia, and Kosovo.  However, in these dire times, the country needs its veterans again.  There is not going to be any better day than today to start making the country better – it is up to veterans to start.  Veterans, you are the cavalry, now get going for America!

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA –
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA –
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition –
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA –
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning –


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