Veteran Transitions to Civilian Life

Subject: Strategy
Pages: 7
Words: 4172
Reading time:
16 min
Study level: Master

It is generally known that military veterans possess a large number of skills and competencies that might be effective in civilian occupations. According to research, the adoption of a military mindset might be highly beneficial in contemporary business due to the developed and multifaceted skillset of veterans (Nazri & Rudi, 2019). The most significant business advantages include critical thinking, decisiveness, leadership, teamwork, project planning, etc. (Hardison et al., 2017). At present, there are more than three million post-9/11 veterans outside of military organizations in America, and the number is projected to reach four million by 2026 (Aronson et al., 2019). As a result, it is essential to analyze the process of transitioning from the military force to civilian occupations and identify the benefits that veterans might bring to contemporary business. The current paper introduces an annotated bibliography to support the primary thesis points of the doctoral study project (DSP) ‘Combat Bunker to Corporate Boardroom – Leverage Military Mindset to Business’.

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Qualitative Research

One of the primary objectives of the DSP is to determine the competitive advantages of the military veterans in the business setting. However, it is essential to elaborate on the research methods to determine the appropriate approach to the topic due to the vast impact of the qualitative design in the contemporary academic and business areas (Cassel, Cunliffe & Grandy, 2018). The current chapter introduces two bibliography entries, concerning the implementation of qualitative research and its effects in the business and military settings.

Basias, N., & Pollalis, Y. (2018). Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business & Economics, 7(1), 91-105.

Authors’ Abstract

The right choice of a suitable research methodology is a crucial decision to perform effective scientific research and is mainly based on linking research objectives to the characteristics of the available research methodologies. Based on the notion that researchers in the fields of Economics, Business and Technology have to choose among multiple methods and techniques the selection of an appropriate research approach that might support cross-disciplinary research is one of the most difficult decisions for a researcher. For that reason, the aim of this paper is to provide issues related to: (a) Quantitative Research, (b) Qualitative Research and (c) Strategic Management of Digital Systems in order to investigate a suitable research methodology for identifying and analyzing key strategic management factors and phases. The publication of this paper has been partly supported by the University of Piraeus Research Center.

Keywords: Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research, Strategic Management, Digital Systems.

Summary

The current article thoroughly examines the quantitative and qualitative types of academic research in the spheres of economics, business, and technology. The authors provide definitions, detailed theoretical background, the scope of application, primary objectives and formats, advantages/disadvantages, and context for each method. The description of each research type is supported by a large variety of academic literature. Consequently, the authors compare the two methods and provide the framework to determine which approach is appropriate for the research objective.

Strengths/weaknesses

The primary strength of the article is the direct comparison between the quantitative and qualitative methods of research specifically in the business setting. The authors take the intricacies of the research field into account and propose a corresponding methodology, depending on the objectives, strategies, methods of data collection, and potential outcomes. This information might also be utilized to determine what qualitative methods are appropriate for the DSP. Nevertheless, while the authors discuss the primary features of the research types, they do not provide sufficient empirical evidence from real-life cases. Thus, the article excels in the theoretical aspect but is considerably lackluster concerning the practical approach.

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Stackhouse, J. D. (2020). Hiring strategies for small business owner to recruit veterans (A multiple case study). Open Journal of Business and Management, 8(4), 1508-1535. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

Grounded in recruitment theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the strategies used by leaders of small businesses to recruit, hire, and retain qualified veterans. The targeted population consisted of three leaders of small businesses in the southeastern Virginia area who have used successful strategies to recruit, hire, and retain veterans. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and document review. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis, and 4 themes emerged: social media advertisement, local networking with military facilities, workshop and job description, and resume review and effective communication. The finding of this study included that participants advertised job vacancies through social media, military post advertisements, human resource boards, and small business administration. Each participant agreed that the labor force hiring process consists of competition with other civilian entities. The implications for positive social change in organizations include influencing owners of small businesses with knowledge of potential growth in local economies and supporting military veterans.

Keywords: Candidates, Military Transition, Military Veteran, Skilled Veteran, Small Business, Transition Assistant Program

Summary

The paper examines the qualitative type of research based on the practical application of the three small businesses in Southeastern Virginia in regard to recruiting and hiring veterans. The author explains some of the competitive advantages of military veterans in business, emphasizing experience, adaptability, and ethics. Unlike the previous entry, the scope of the current article is empirical, and its primary objective is to provide recommendations for the leaders of small enterprises. The author achieves this goal by reviewing the prior academic literature, implementing qualitative study designs (interviews), and thoroughly analyzing the data.

Strengths/weaknesses

The article transparently demonstrates the whole process of the qualitative research, including all the stages of the empirical study, such as literature review, method, design, population analysis, sampling, and data collection instruments. The focus on the practical approach is the strongest point of the paper and might be utilized as the foundation for future research. Therefore, while the article is lackluster in the theoretical research per se, it supplements exclusively academic studies by presenting transparent qualitative designs and potential outcomes. Ultimately, the paper positions itself as an empirical guide for hiring veterans and successfully achieves its goal.

Military Mindset in Business

The consequent research question concerns the military mindset of veterans, and how it might be projected to the business environment. A large number of researchers state that adaptability, leadership, teamwork, and resilience are some of the most significant factors that military veterans might bring to the company (Kirchner & Akdere, 2017). The current chapter includes five bibliography entries concerning the qualities of veterans that might provide a competitive advantage for the business.

McCormick, W. H., Currier, J. M., Isaak, S. L., Sims, B. M., Slagel, B. A., Carroll, T. D., Hamner, K., & Albright, D. L. (2019). Military culture and post-military transitioning among veterans: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(2), 287-298.

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Authors’ Abstract

While a considerable amount of theoretical literature has explored core values and characteristics of the US Armed Forces, limited empirical research has examined veterans’ accounts of military culture. To elucidate military culture and help inform ongoing efforts to incorporate military culture into the provision of healthcare services for veterans, seven focus groups (n = 44) were conducted with diverse groups of veterans to provide their first-hand accounts on these topics. Content analysis of their responses yielded four broad clusters: (1) descriptions of military culture and values (e.g., patriotism, camaraderie, discipline); (2) conflict with values during military service (e.g., betrayed by politicians and/or bureaucracy, internal conflict of killing); (3) cultural changes post-military service (e.g., continuity of military culture, disparate from civilian culture, interpersonal difficulties); and (4) communication with non-military connected persons (e.g., I do not talk about military experiences, I only talk with other veterans). The results expand upon prior conceptualizations of military culture and provide preliminary implications for integrating military culture into healthcare service provisions for veterans. Furthermore, this study highlights the need for further empirical research on the internalization and longer-term impact of military culture to better address the needs of US military veterans.

Keywords: Service members, Veterans, Military Culture, Post-Military Transition

Summary

The authors discuss a cultural gap between the American military and civilian society and implement a qualitative study to determine the primary factors of military culture and its effects on veterans. The interviews determine more than 40 subcategories concerning military and post-military values and problems. Lastly, the authors thoroughly discuss each of the topics, and how they might affect the integration of veterans in civilian society.

Strengths/weaknesses

The strongest point of the article is the thorough discussion of each conceptual theme revealed in the interviews, such personal struggle of veterans and integration within civilian society. The research transparently demonstrates that despite the evident advantages of military veterans in discipline, endurance, patriotism, etc., they might still struggle to fit in the community. As a result, it is not always possible to project the military mindset to the company culture and business environment. The weak point of the article is underlined by the authors – a relatively small sample with no possibility to generalize the findings.

Pollak, N., Arsbanapalli, B., & Hobson, C. (2019). The business case for hiring military veterans/reservists: Stock price performance of military friendly firms. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(2), 52-63.

Authors’ Abstract

The reasons for hiring military veterans/reservists are well documented, including such factors as leadership, teamwork, and resilience. Research shows that veterans/reservists perform at higher levels, have lower turnover rates after the first job, and advance more rapidly in Federal civil service organizations. However, the impact of hiring veterans/reservists on a firm’s financial performance remains unexplored. Using GI Job’s list of “2016 Top 100 Military Friendly Firms,” we demonstrate that the 64 publicly traded “military friendly” firms on this list had a statistically significant higher return (median 7.23 percentage points and a mean 5.18 percentage points higher) than comparable firms not identified as military friendly. These findings provide compelling evidence of the financial benefits associated with employing military veterans/reservists in response to the call for more empirical research on the impact of veterans in civilian organizations. In addition to encouraging businesses to consider hiring veterans/reservists, our results may be beneficial for career counselors, human resource and development managers, and others who interact with veterans, as well as for veterans themselves.

Keywords: Veteran Issues, Social Issues, Business Strategy, Staffing, Finance

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Summary

The authors discuss the impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, on the overall perception of military veterans by American society and provide evidence on the benefits of military-friendly recruiting practices. The article presents the statistics on such qualities, as job performance, turnover, earnings, and advancement, among the publicly traded firms in America. The findings demonstrate that military-friendly companies have higher profits than their counterparts.

Strengths/weaknesses

The authors have chosen a unique approach to the topic by addressing the profits of military-friendly firms rather than analyzing the internal effects of military mindset in the company. This strategy sets the current article apart from similar qualitative studies and might significantly boost the initiative to employ post 9/11 era veterans in business enterprises. However, similar to the previous entry, the authors note certain limitations and propose that future research is necessary.

Stern, L. (2016). Post 9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities and their transition to the civilian workforce: A review of the literature. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 1-12. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

The problem

More than five million U.S. veterans are expected to return to our communities and the civilian workforce by the year 2020. The vast majority of Americans have little understanding of military service or the impact service may have on civilian employment outcomes. Connection to the labor force provides the swiftest means for a successful transition back home, yet almost half of post 9/11 veterans indicate finding a job is their biggest challenge. An exploratory literature review was conducted to examine if and how the career transition of post 9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities is presented in the human resource development (HRD) literature.

The solution

Based on the results of this exploratory literature review, three solutions are proposed: (a) examine what is working at work for veterans with disabilities in an effort to change the research conversation from problems to solutions, (b) understand and begin to deconstruct the veteran–civilian career identity conflict, and (c) explore the lived experiences of veterans with service-connected disabilities and their employers.

The Stakeholders

HRD researchers, HRD scholarly practitioners, and HRD professionals with an interest in the complexity of career transition and return-to-work issues facing veterans and people with disabilities.

Summary

The article examines the acceptance of the post 9/11 military veterans with disabilities in civilian society by utilizing a thorough literature review. The author has identified the four major obstacles concerning employment that include the mental and physical disabilities of veterans, the stigma and prejudice in the workplace, and identity conflict. As a result, despite the various unique qualities, such as adaptability, discipline, and teamwork, approximately 44% of veterans cannot seem to integrate into civilian society.

Strengths/weaknesses

The strongest point of the article is the scope of the research. A large number of studies demonstrate the competitive advantages of veterans in the business environment; however, it is also true that military experience is frequently associated with mental and physical complications that might obstruct the integration with civilian society. Therefore, the different perspective on the topic is the strongest point of the paper. However, the data collection method is exclusively literature review, which is associated with certain limitations.

Yanchus, N. J., Osatuke, K., Carameli, K. A., Barnes, T., & Ramsel, D. (2018). Assessing workplace perceptions of military veteran compared to nonveteran employees. Journal of Veterans Studies, 3(1), 37-50. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

Qualitative methods were used to examine differences in workplace perceptions between military veteran and nonveteran employees at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Prior research using employee satisfaction survey data found veteran employees reported a stronger connection to the organizational mission yet were overall less satisfied than nonveteran employees. The authors examined the open-text comments from that same survey to determine whether veteran employees identified the reasons for their discontent and whether these were similar to nonveterans’ concerns. They found that in cases when veteran employees indicated dissatisfaction or concerns, favoritism/unfairness was an overarching theme in their comments, more so than for nonveterans. Pragmatically, given these findings, enhanced vocational strategies for veterans transitioning into civilian employment is one way to socialize them into the new requirements and thus improve veterans’ workplace perceptions. Another approach is to develop organizational leaders’ understanding of military skills and culture to enable a better use of veteran employees’ strengths at civilian jobs.

Summary

The authors conduct an open-text survey to determine the perceptions of post-9/11 veterans concerning their civilian workplaces. Consequently, the experts compare these perspectives with the data collected from their nonveteran colleagues and determine what factors are significant for each target group. As a result, the authors could identify the difference in the perspectives.

Strengths/weaknesses

The current article adopts a different approach and presents the perceptions of the workplace from the perspective of military veterans. In general, the experts analyze the competitive advantages of post-9/11 veterans from the viewpoint of employers; therefore, the paper provides curious insights concerning the subject.

Kirchner, M., & Akdere, M. (2019). An empirical investigation of the acquisition of leadership KSAa in the U.S. Army: Implications for veterans’ career transitions. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(1), 110-127. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

The U.S. Army incorporates an extensive leader development program as part of its everyday training. Servicemembers obtain a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) during their enlistment and maintain the attributes upon transitioning into the non-military workforce. Although employers in the U.S. argue the number one reason they choose to hire veterans is for their leadership skills, scholars have not examined the KSAs veterans believe they have acquired during their service. This manuscript presents findings from a qualitative study of ten Post-9/11 Army veterans who spoke about their leadership KSAs acquired while serving and their preparation for transitioning into the non-military workforce. Three themes: (1) difficulty articulating leadership KSAs, (2) impactful leadership behaviors, and (3) inadequate transition support were revealed through data analysis. The paper explores the linkages between U.S. Army leader development and career transitions, offers implications from the findings for organization management, and proposes directions for research in the area of veterans studies.

Summary

The authors discuss the nature of the military competencies, including knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), and how they might affect the transition from military to civilian occupations. The primary findings demonstrate that a large number of veterans have trouble articulating the competencies they have acquired; nevertheless, the empirical evidence shows that KSAs provide numerous benefits for veterans in non-military organizations.

Strengths/weaknesses

One of the limitations of the study concerns the design of the research; the results cannot be generalized for all military veterans due to the relatively small sample. Consequently, not all the participants of the study are knowledgeable concerning the theoretical background of KSAs, and how they assist them in civilian organizations. Thus, some misconceptions and misunderstandings could occur during the interviews.

Intentional Hiring of Post-9/11 Era Veterans

Lastly, it is essential to discuss whether the intentional hiring of post-9/11 era veterans is an effective strategy from the HR perspective, and how the process might be applicable to contemporary organizations, such as Yorktown Systems Group. The current chapter introduces three bibliography entries concerning the topic.

Davis, V. E., & Minnis, S. E. (2017). Military veterans’ transferrable skills: An HRD practitioner dilemma. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 19(1), 6-13. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

The Problem

Military veterans face a number of employment challenges as they transition from military service to civilian employment. Although the American workforce has become much more diverse, there continues to be a lack of understanding and misperceptions about veterans’ skillsets and military experiences which inhibits successful employment after military service. Veterans are a source of talent for civilian employers as they bring distinctive capabilities and valuable skills developed through real-world, high-pressure experience, but some human resource development (HRD) practitioners may not be aware of the vast array of skills, training, and knowledge that veterans bring to the civilian workforce in addition to supervisory and management skills acquired during their time in the armed forces. Given the civilian public’s general lack of knowledge about military experience, HRD practitioners, in particular, may be less able to effectively evaluate and integrate veterans’ military experiences, skills, and capabilities in the civilian employment sector. These misunderstandings are contributing factors impacting veterans’ ability to transfer their skills from military to business cultures.

The Solution

It is imperative that HRD practitioners understand the potentially strong contributions and societal misperceptions regarding the business value of military veterans’ skills and experiences. This article will explore distinctive capabilities of veterans that make them assets in the civilian workforce as well as some potential concerns and highlight HRD’s role in recognizing and facilitating the development of veteran hiring and retention initiatives in civilian employment. Educating HRD professionals about how to integrate military veterans’ skills, knowledge, and abilities in business cultures and mitigate concerns is vital to promote veterans’ contributions to civilian organizations and is necessary for effective hiring and talent development.

The Stakeholders

Veterans, HRD professionals, scholars, practitioners, and policy makers interested in the HRD field, private sector, federal, nonfederal public sector, and U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Keywords: human resource development, military veterans, skills.

Summary

The authors highlight the relatively low awareness of the human resource development (HRD) departments concerning the unique characteristics that military veterans bring to the business environment and attempt to provide certain guidelines for HRD on how to evaluate the transferrable skills of the veterans. The article presents the general worries of the HRD departments, such as concern for mental health issues and physical disabilities of military veterans. Consequently, the authors propose coping strategies to provide support for the employees to mitigate the said concerns.

Strengths/weaknesses

The article emphasizes the practical guidelines for the HRD departments on hiring veterans and analyzes the possible benefits of such recruiting practices. The authors have thoroughly analyzed the potential challenges of the HRD and proposed corresponding solutions, which might be highly beneficial for HRD practices. Nevertheless, the paper is considerably lackluster in regard to theoretical background and literature review, which might potentially cast doubt on the reliability and validity of the study.

Schulker, D. (2016). The recent occupation and industry employment patterns of American veterans. Armed Forces & Society, 43(4), 695-710. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

Programs aiming to ease the transition from military to civilian life have increasingly focused on specific occupation areas where veteran skills might overlap with civilian job requirements. This research uses the American Community Survey to examine the occupations and industries that veterans tend to work in as well as how veteran incomes compare to similar nonveterans in each area. Results show that veterans tend to seek civilian occupations where military experience is likely to apply, as areas of veteran overrepresentation echo technical military functions. Furthermore, veterans generally tend to earn higher incomes than similar nonveterans in these areas of potential military–civilian overlap, but most income differences are relatively moderate. The results imply that programs encouraging transitioning military members to find a civilian occupation that is similar to their military experience may better assist those in military occupations with clear civilian applications.

Summary

The current paper analyzes the opportunities of the American veterans to transfer from the military force to civilian occupations. The author utilizes the existing data to determine the major factors of veterans’ employment decisions, such as military-civilian overlap, the relation of the occupation to military setting, income differences, etc. By comparing the information, the author is able to identify the areas, which attract a large number of veterans.

Strengths/weaknesses

One of the notable strengths of the article is the thorough preparation for the study. The author presents a comprehensive analysis of prior research, considers the implications of the design, and discusses the outcomes from several viewpoints. Furthermore, unlike most studies in the field, the current article implements a quantitative method, which provides a fresh perspective on the matter.

Morgan, N. R., et al. (2020). Reducing barriers to post-9/11 veterans’ use of programs and services as they transition to civilian life. Health Services Research, 20(525), 1-14. Web.

Authors’ Abstract

Background: Numerous programs exist to support veterans in their transitions to civilian life. Programs are offered by a host of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Veterans report encountering many barriers to program participation. This study identified barrier reduction strategies offered by programs that new post-9/11 veterans reported using, determined which strategies veterans use and value, and examined veteran characteristics that impact their odds of using programs that offer barrier reduction strategies.

Method: This study reflects findings from the first wave of data collection of The Veterans Metrics Initiative (TVMI), a longitudinal study examining the military-to-civilian reintegration of new post-9/11 veterans. The websites of programs used by respondents were coded for barrier reduction components. Veterans also indicated which barrier reduction components they found most helpful in meeting their reintegration goals.

Results: Of 9566 veterans who participated in Wave 1 data collection, 84% reported using a program that offered at least one barrier reduction component. Barrier reduction components included tangible supports (e.g., scholarships, cash), increased access to programs, decreased stigma, and encouraged motivation to change. Although only 4% of programs that were used by veterans focused on helping them obtain Veterans Administration benefits, nearly 60% of veterans reported that this component was helpful in reaching their goals. Access assistance to other resources and supports was also reported as a helpful barrier reduction component. For instance, approximately 20% of veterans nominated programs that offered transportation. The study also found evidence of a misalignment between the kinds of barrier reduction components veterans valued and those which programs offered. Veterans from the most junior enlisted ranks, who are at most risk, were less likely than those from other ranks to use barrier reduction components. Study limitations and ideas for future research are discussed.

Conclusions: Despite the evidence that barrier reduction components enhance access to programs and contribute to program sustainability, many programs used by post-9/11 veterans do not offer them. There was also a misalignment between the barrier reduction strategies that veterans value and the strategies offered by programs. Veteran serving organizations should increasingly implement barrier reduction strategies valued by veterans.

Keywords: Veterans, Veteran reintegration, Barrier reduction, Help-seeking stigma, Mental health stigma, Program reach, Program sustainability

Summary

The article analyzes the data from The Veterans Metrics Initiative (TVMI) to determine the primary obstacles of transitioning to civilian organizations for post-9/11 veterans. The authors discuss the initiatives of employers, supportive programs, barrier reduction strategies, and examine what factors play a vital role in reintegration within society. The findings demonstrate that despite the potential competitive advantages of veterans, the difference in values between military and non-military frequently obstructs the transition process.

Strengths/weaknesses

According to the authors, the current article is the first research that specifically addresses the obstacles that post-9/11 veterans might experience in transitioning to civilian organizations. The study also reveals several significant findings, such as misalignment of values between veterans and employers, and suggests a course of action to minimize the barriers of reintegration.

References

Aronson, K. R., et al. (2019). Post-9/11 veteran transitions to civilian life: Predictors of the use of employment programs. Journal of Veterans Studies, 5(1), 14-22. Web.

Basias, N., & Pollalis, Y. (2018). Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business & Economics, 7(1), 91-105.

Cassell, C., Cunliffe, A. L., & Grandy, G. (2018). Introduction: Qualitative Research in Business and Management. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods: Methods and Challenges, 1–14. Web.

Davis, V. E., & Minnis, S. E. (2017). Military veterans’ transferrable skills: An HRD practitioner dilemma. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 19(1), 6-13. Web.

Hardison, C. M., Krueger, C.T., Shanley, M.G., Saavedra, A. R., Clague, A., Crowley, J. C., Martin, J., Wong, J. P., & Steinberg, P.S. (2017). What veterans bring to civilian workplaces: A prototype toolkit for helping private-sector employers understand the nontechnical skills developed in the military. RAND Corporation. Web.

Kirchner, M., & Akdere, M. (2017). Military leadership development strategies: Implications for training in non-military organizations. Industrial and Commercial Training, 49(7/8), 357-364. Web.

Kirchner, M., & Akdere, M. (2019). An empirical investigation of the acquisition of leadership KSAa in the U.S. Army: Implications for veterans’ career transitions. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(1), 110-127. Web.

McCormick, W. H., Currier, J. M., Isaak, S. L., Sims, B. M., Slagel, B. A., Carroll, T. D., Hamner, K., & Albright, D. L. (2019). Military culture and post-military transitioning among veterans: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(2), 287-298.

Morgan, N. R., et al. (2020). Reducing barriers to post-9/11 veterans’ use of programs and services as they transition to civilian life. Health Services Research, 20(525), 1-14. Web.

Nazri, M., & Rudi, M. (2019). Military leadership: A systematic literature review of current research. International Journal of Business and Management, 3(2), 1-15. Web.

Pollak, N., Arsbanapalli, B., & Hobson, C. (2019). The business case for hiring military veterans/reservists: Stock price performance of military friendly firms. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(2), 52-63.

Schulker, D. (2016). The recent occupation and industry employment patterns of American veterans. Armed Forces & Society, 43(4), 695-710. Web.

Stackhouse, J. D. (2020). Hiring strategies for small business owner to recruit veterans (A multiple case study). Open Journal of Business and Management, 8(4), 1508-1535. Web.

Stern, L. (2016). Post 9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities and their transition to the civilian workforce: A review of the literature. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 1-12. Web.

Yanchus, N. J., Osatuke, K., Carameli, K. A., Barnes, T., & Ramsel, D. (2018). Assessing workplace perceptions of military veteran compared to nonveteran employees. Journal of Veterans Studies, 3(1), 37-50. Web.