Current data on the success of Veterans transitioning to the civilian sector will often vary based on the source. Although the numbers may vary; all sources indicate that our service members often struggle during the transition process and a large number of service members are at risk of a very uncertain transition.
According to a Department of Defense official release, more than 80 percent of former service members who participated in the redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP) felt well-prepared to re-enter into the civilian workforce. With 165,000 soldiers separating from service each year, that still leaves more than 30,000 soldiers feeling unprepared for the transition, despite participating in the program. “We think we can do better,” said Phil Randazzo, founder of American Dream U.
To help recently separated service members and their family members, American Dream U will be offering free online programs. These programs will provide access to exclusive online content provided by top entrepreneurs and speakers from around the world. Recently separated service members, spouses, dependents, veterans and DoD civilians can take advantage of this free program. The goal of this program is to help transitioning service members to be successful in their civilian career.
Randazzo, testifying before a House Armed Services Committee, said that in the current TAP he noticed that entrepreneurial thinking was discouraged, and survey members weren’t encouraged to find their purpose. He also noted that in the current program, there is more focus put on completing the material rather than ensuring that the service members understand the material and are equipped to take control of their transition. “I’m not convinced this is a path to a successful transition,” he said.
Current polls and surveys have indicated that a large percentage of service members do not feel confident with the transitioning assistance they receive. The majority of these service members do not feel that they are appropriately prepared for the transition after successfully completing the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) offered by Department of Defense (DoD).
According to the 2015 Military Family Lifestyle Survey conducted by Blue Star Families, statistics indicate several unfortunate events are consistently on the rise such as suicide among transitioning veteran community.
The recent media release from the Department of Defense (DoD) on October 29, 2015 (Titled: Service Members Give Thumbs Up for New Transition Program) significantly contradicts with the figures released by Blue Star Families. But even with DoD stats (which is significantly better than BSF data), there are at least 30,000 service members who are at risk of a very uncertain transition.
The facts and figures gathered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention that were recently published for 2015 reported 22.2 percent of suicides in the in the United States are prior service members. CNN has also published information that states 30% of military veterans are subjected to suicidal thoughts on a regular basis.
We can never do too much to support the men and women who have fought to protect our country
Currently over 400 million dollars is spent every year to facilitate veterans’ transition back to civilian life; but this spending doesn’t seem to be enough, Especially when several thousands of our brave men and women are facing a very risky transition phase. The Director of Marketing for American Dream U, Greg Ekborg said, “We can never do too much to support the men and women who have fought to protect our country”. Ekborg, a marine veteran, added, “Which numbers are true or greater doesn’t matter; we still all need to do a better job in helping our service members’ successful transition”.
In an attempt to provide additional resources for transitioning service members, American Dream U will be offering this free service. These programs will help veterans find their civilian career. Whether finding a job or starting their own business, American Dream U will be providing veterans with the resources they will need for successful transition. American Dream U partners with over 140 entrepreneurs and business leaders to offer guidance to service members during transition.
About the American Dream U Organization:
American Dream U is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the process of facilitating military service members to succeed in their transition to the civilian world after serving their country. They plan and hold events on military installations around the world providing speakers, tools, and information to help our Veterans achieve their goals and avoid unfortunate tragedies.