Veterans today are a unique population. During military service, veterans develop a range of skills to include adaptability, teamwork, and mission focus that employers look for in a potential employee. These skills in the past have allowed veterans to have a smoother transition into the civilian work force. However, based on recent studies it would seem military service has become a mechanism for negatively altering a veteran’s occupational trajectory. Military service has been known to have numerous effects on education, family, and careers. For Instance, military service often delays completion of education, family formation, and launching careers (Anderson and Mitchell, 1992). Yet, these delays can translate into socioeconomic advantages (XIE, 1992)
There is an opulent history of studies that explored the consequences of military service for later socioeconomic attainment. These studies concentrated on education and earnings. The earliest studies, focused on World War II (WWII) era veterans, which suggested considerable socioeconomic attainment advantages to serving in the military. A number of studies found that veterans of the WWII era received an earning premium (Fredland & Little, 1980). More recent studies, conversely, have found minute effect on earnings for WWII era veterans, largely due to increased awareness of the need to control for selectivity (Teachman & Tedrow, 2004). That is veterans would have earned more than non-veterans even if they had not served. However, immunity is provided to non-Hispanic Black veterans and veterans with little education prior to entering the military. Minorities and lesser educated non-Hispanic Whites seem to gain some advantage from military service regardless of selectivity.
Unfortunately, veterans’ are facing serious challenges in finding employment in the civilian workforce (Williamson, 2009). In order to assist veterans with securing civilian employment after their military service, the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs have created a collage of programs. These programs consist of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), to name a few. These programs provide retraining services, employment information, and counseling services on resume writing and interviewing tips. Unfortunately, with these programs in place along with many others, military service is still showing to have an adverse effect on a veteran’s occupational trajectory. The purpose of this study is to evaluate if military service is continuing to have a negative impact on a veteran’s occupational trajectory. I will test two hypotheses: (1) Post 9/11 veterans are expected to have a higher likelihood of unemployment than non-post 9/11 veterans and (2) Non-Hispanic black veterans are expected to not gain any employment advantage from their military service when compared to non-Hispanic white veterans.
It is imperative to better understand the...