Setting Up Men and Women of the United States Armed Forces for Success After Completing Service
According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), "the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001--a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans--edged down to 9.0 percent in 2013." The BLS also reports that the "(unemployment) rate for all veterans also edged down to 6.6 percent." Fortunately, if you have recently completed your active duties and are looking to start a career or to finish your education post-military, there are programs available to help assist men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
In order to find employment, you may need to complete your education first, depending on what sort of job you hope to maintain. You may just want to complete you education for the sake of graduating. Regardless of your incentive for completing, or starting, your education, there are many academic programs in place for students in the military, or for students interested in a military or government career.
The American Military University (AMU) was created by James P. Etter, a retired member of a U.S. Marine Corps, and offers affordable and quality online undergraduate and higher education programs for students interested in leadership roles within the military and to prepare for a career after the military. The military also has its own military colleges, such as the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) is another program dedicated to helping Service Members pursue their educational goals.
There are also programs within the military dedicated to making sure that service men and women are set up for academic success by offering education counselors and resources like OASC&CPST (Online Academic Skills Course & College Placement Skills Training) and the MWR Library (Moral, Welfare, and Recognition). These programs help ensure that Service members reach their educational goals by helping them to map out educational and career goals, while ensuring that course units from the military transfer with the student to prevent having to retake the same classes.
Programs that help Members of the Armed Forces to Find EmploymentThere are programs in place to assist Service men and women who have already completed their education, or who have sufficient work experience but do not know how to apply the skills that they have gained in the military. Whether you are looking for a career path, or just looking to get a job, there are programs in place specifically tailored to meet the needs of Service Members.
Examples of programs in place for service men and women include, but are not limited to:
- Troops for Teachers (TTT):this program was established in 1994 as a Department of Defense (DoD) program and is designed to help formal members of the United States Armed Forces whose last period of service is characterized as honorable, and who with meet education, military service and registration criteria. TTT provides "participants with counseling and assistance regarding certification requirements, routes to state certification, and employment leads."
- IT Training and Certification Partnership: this program was created in April of 2013 by First Lady Michelle Obama to help transitioning Service Members to get IT jobs so that their military experience translates to the civilian job market.
- HireVeterans.com:this is a website dedicated to helping "America's Best" find jobs. There are just fewer than 70 career fields to choose from and currently over 40,000 job listings.
What to do if You have a Criminal Record?Regardless of whether or not you served in the military, finding a job will be significantly more difficult if you have a criminal record. Even if the crime was committed as a juvenile offense, or even if you were arrested for an offense but were never convicted, your indiscretion will remain on your criminal record. Fortunately, you may be eligible to expunge your offense and the related case from your criminal record, which will prevent the offense from appearing on most criminal background checks for employment and housing.
After serving for your country and working hard to ensure that your fellow countrymen have the best possible life, you also deserve to take advantage of the liberties that you fought so hard to protect. Expunging your criminal record will help you to get a fresh start in life and start on your path towards a successful future either as a civilian in the workforce, or working for the government in the military.