NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Veteran's Training Undervalued

August 28, 1997


Skilled veterans are routed into training programs instead of being certified for civilian jobs in government or the private sector -- even though the job requirements are identical to functions they have been trained for and performed throughout their military careers.

  • Personnel experts report that veterans with expertise -- in health care, electronics, computers, engineering, air-traffic control and investigative work, for example -- are stigmatized as unqualified for the corresponding areas of civilian work.
  • Although many of the estimated 170,000 veterans who head for the civilian job market each year originally volunteered to acquire specific training and skills, they can't find work in civilian markets.
  • The unemployment rate among veterans in their first year out of the military is 11.8 percent -- versus a national figure for all workers of 3.9 percent.
  • Employment specialists estimate that 65 percent to 70 percent of veterans are either unemployed or under-employed in the first year after separation from the military.

Experts suggest that the federal government set up a system similar to academia's system for transferring college credits between institutions. But the federal government isn't the only offender. States also impose their own licensing requirements which necessitate retraining.

Source: Steve Salerno (American Legion Magazine), "Bureaucrats Betray America's Vets," Wall Street Journal, August 28, 1997.


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