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What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing Military Veterans?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Of the many hurdles military veterans face in America today, they name adjusting back to everyday life as the most significant challenge. Many also feel that private companies are not making the adjustment any easier.

A new RallyPoint/Rasmussen Reports national survey of active and retired military personnel finds that 38% consider the transition back to civilian life to be the most significant challenge facing veterans today. Twenty-four percent (24%) think finding civilian employment is the greatest challenge, while 13% say that of health care. Nine percent (9%) each rate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and personal finances as the biggest challenge facing veterans today. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

When it comes to civilian employment, just 34% of military personnel believe most private companies view military experience as a professional asset. Slightly more (38%) disagree. Twenty-eight percent (28%) are undecided.

Forty percent (40%) of veterans say most private companies do not view military experience as a professional asset, a view shared by 35% of active service members.

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The survey of 1,473 Military Adults was conducted from October 25 through November 2, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In early 2012, 57% of all Americans said veterans should receive preferential treatment when applying for a job.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of the military members surveyed currently hold or have held a civilian job. Business owners and executives tend to feel more strongly than directors, managers and employees that most private companies see military experience as a professional asset.

Majorities of military personnel across the demographic spectrum name either transitioning to civilian life or finding civilian employment as the top challenge facing veterans today.

Active service members and veterans are in general agreement that transitioning to civilian life is the most significant challenge.

While men and women feel similarly about the challenges facing veterans, men are slightly more convinced that most private companies view military experience as an asset.

There’s general partisan agreement among military members when it comes to the challenges facing veterans. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Republicans believe most private companies view military experience as an asset, compared to 31% of Democrats and 32% of those not affiliated with either party.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of all voters think the federal government does not do enough for military veterans.

News reports surfaced last year that officials at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were covering up persistent problems at its health care facilities. This led to congressional investigation and the forced resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. Just 12% of voters believe most of the problems with the VA have been cleaned up.

Voters continue to hold the U.S. military in high esteem. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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