Veterans across the country have had major problems obtaining a job because the majority of skills that were acquired through our military service do not translate into the civilian sector. The GI Bill has been a great tool in obtaining a quality education but a lot of Veterans that go back to college have had serious issues transitioning into the conservative model of learning. Some end up dropping out, not due to incompetence, but due to not being interested in what they are studying.

More often than not, the programs that they do choose are out of necessity rather than interest and when and if they get their degree, they know nothing more than before the start of the program. When I was in the service, I learned more about a wide variety of subjects by doing and gaining experience than by sitting in a traditional classroom.

Some would argue, the amount of responsibility that is given to soldiers on a daily basis rivals a lot of responsibilities that are given to Senior Managers and Chief Executive Officers. They are the most highly adaptable citizens of the United States of America and too often, we forget and ignore their potential because of various constraints and general misunderstanding.

I believe the experience that all military service members receive while in past or current service should automatically transfer to a four year degree and be rewarded on the completion of their term of service. This option ensures that upon exit, he or she will have the experience as well as a bachelor’s degree upon entering the civilian workforce. This will make Veterans more marketable for positions he or she may be interested in and will greatly contribute towards the economic growth of the United States of America.

Tony Roberts served with Headquarters Company, TF 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, located in Fort Richardson, Alaska. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2003-2005.

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Published on Feb. 7, 2012

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  1. debbie March 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I just want to say my son was in the 101st in fortcampbell ky in 2003-2006,he was in Iraq for one year finished his tour & came home he went to college & has a bachelors degree in criminal justice & two other degrees he graduated from chico state with honors.. He has not been able to get a Job the they will not even give him a chance he has tried knocking on every door possible with every door being slammed in his face!! He went to sacramento & took the test for the F.B.I. & passed.. He has done everything right with no rewards what so ever the what else does he have to do?? He is very frustated he has so much to offer society if they would just give him a chance… It appears to me that the federal agency’s & the police departments are afraid to hire vet’s because of their training & skill’s. I read in the paper that they are planning on putting out thousands of dollars tp train the police force how to deal with our soldiers who are getting out because they are not trained as great as our soldiers are so they are making them look like crazy’s running the streets!!!!! I am so upset about this that they would use our vet’s reputations as an excuse to put more money in their pockets!!!!

  2. NJen February 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Well how do you translate rebuilding a steam engine to art, music, business ed, science, etc? If the higher paying jobs are for a Bachelor’s degree or better, you don’t find engine repair in academics; maybe a little training in vo-tech. Voc-tech schools needs to be updated, and academics expanded.

  3. R W February 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Great idea Tony but too many in academia look at us vets as people who were either too stupid to go to school or too poor. Academia is a progressive, liberal elitist bunch from what I have experienced and in some cases were looked down upon because our/their views were from being there an doing that. The best a vet can do is keep their mouth shut in class and even that doesn’t always work as in my case whats a 40 something year old doing in a college freshman class anyway I was asked once. And be careful what you write your term papers about especially when it comes to current affairs or history for some of us old timers. And if your disabled in anyway that’s a dead giveaway especially for the younger crowd.

  4. Jason Huskie February 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I agree with much of your sentiment. I would propose that 4 years of service be the equivalent of a 2 year degree and 6 years would garner a 4 year degree. How does the military compare to college?

    College is about learning to succeed in a social environment. So is the military.
    College is about attendance and following through. Same in the military.
    College is about learning how to critically think and be adaptive. I would argue this is true nowhere more than the military.
    College is about networking and developing connections.

    Why is college more valued by employers than military experience? Is that sociology 101 course going to help your job at the bank? Is European history going to help the project manager at a media company?

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