If you could start over again, would you make the same decision? According to a recent survey, 78 percent of active duty military personnel say a resounding “yes.”
When you think of the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made, especially in recent years, this overwhelming positive response may seem odd. But when you consider the dedication to duty and our nation that they exhibit, it’s not all that surprising. Yet, as war efforts draw down and the military reduces the size of its forces, thousands of active duty personnel will be returning to civilian life.
The poll conducted by Excelsior College in November 2012 also indicated that a large majority (88 percent) of active duty personnel expected to pursue a postsecondary educational credential after being discharged. What may be surprising to many in the civilian world is that much of the training received while serving in the military is college-level and has application in a variety of civilian occupations.
For example, an aviation electronics technician in the Navy, depending upon the sailor’s rating, will have had to complete numerous training programs that are equivalent to college courses. This equivalency evaluation of military training is conducted by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service and is accepted by most colleges and universities.
On the employment side, take someone whose “career field” in the Army was as multi-systems transmission operator, for example. Using the O*NET OnLine website, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, employers would find that someone with this military occupation has the skills and experience needed in a handful of civilian jobs, especially in the cellular telephone and two-way radio communications fields.