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Millions of Americans are clueless when it comes to the nation’s war history and the plight of its veterans, according to new research.
The study highlighted a large gap in knowledge of American military service both historic and modern – over sixty percent were unable to name who America was confronting when invading Afghanistan.
Less than a third of Americans knew what ISIS stands for as an acronym while over a fifth said they found war news both modern and historic to be "boring".
Results showed disengagement with America’s armed conflicts and subsequently an alarming decline in knowledge when it comes to what veterans face upon returning from deployment.
The insights emerged in the study by Sharp Decisions’ V.E.T.S.™ Program – which provides boot camp like, client-tailored corporate technology training to tech-savvy transitioning and industry-experienced veterans, supplementing their existing industry skills with specific, hands-on training to meet client needs. The program has broken the mold for veterans’ employment efforts by making platoon based training and deployments central to the program’s mission. The entire program is free of charge to the veterans and is privately funded by Sharp Decisions.
A spokesman for the Sharp Decisions’ V.E.T.S. Program said: “It’s alarming to us that so many felt bored by U.S. history. This lack of knowledge fuels misconceptions, not just around the events that occurred but also around what our current military personnel go through both during and after service. And a common misconception among potential employers is that veterans may be ill equipped to handle positions in the private sector for a variety of reasons including incompatibility of skills, education, mental health stereotypes, discipline, culture shock and fear of losing veterans to service.”
Many times the failure to properly communicate the translation of a skill set from the military sector into civilian life is where the gaps lie. Hiring decision makers can’t comprehend the skill set military training provides and military personnel can’t comprehend how their training translates. Understanding the typical miscommunication regarding skill applicability is paramount to understanding the unemployment rate of today’s veterans.”
“It’s important people not only engage with military affairs but that there is greater awareness toward the struggles of returning veterans. These common misconceptions of our returning veterans are one of the things our V.E.T.S. Program directly dispels.”
The traditional assumption of veterans who have served in wartime is their service came at the cost of their mental health. With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression at the forefront of mental illness discussions, it is often assumed that the stereotype of this disability is applicable to all candidates who have served.
This is, of course, untrue. Not only is this diagnosis not applicable to every veteran, but it is also not necessarily a permanent diagnosis either. This stereotype further shows the misunderstanding of mental health, the stigma attached to it, and the discrimination that is caused by both of those facts.
In fact, Americans incorrectly assumed at least half of all veterans carry some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder with 53 percent the common estimate- far above the actual figure, which figure, which stands close to 20 percent.
Less than a fifth of those polled felt veterans were able to work regular jobs right away after service and 85 percent felt that there are opportunities for veterans to work after returning from duty.
Seven in ten of those polled did have a member of their family or close friend who served in the military and 72 percent feel that veterans are not well supported or treated fairly.
Sadly, 42 percent of those with a serving family member said veterans are not well supported and saw their loved one struggle to integrate back into civilian life.
However, only 55 percent actively support veteran’s charities, according to results.
Just 18 percent feel modern companies do enough to allow or encourage veteran to integrate back into the workforce.
And 46 percent feel the federal government should issue a mandate to make companies hire a certain percentage of veterans into their workforce.
62 percent of those polled felt that veterans do have the skill sets to be productive members of the workforce but felt their needs to be more military to civilian job programs.
The Sharp Decisions V.E.T.S. spokesman continued: “Veterans account for roughly 7.5 percent of the current U.S. population with approximately 22 million living and 1.4 million active personnel.
“The current unemployment rate of veterans (4.7%) is remarkably concerning and so we’re calling for more companies to structure programs like ours to ensure they are given more opportunities in civilian life.
“Give veterans an opportunity to succeed in a proper atmosphere and you won’t be disappointed in the results you see; they will be better than that of your standard employee.”
To learn more about Sharp Decisions V.E.T.S. program visit: