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‘Partnerships Needed to Support the Military-to-Civilian Transition’
Nicholas Armstrong, managing director of research and data at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, wrote an op-ed for The Hill titled “Partnerships needed to support the military-to-civilian transition.” Armstrong is also an adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School.
Armstrong recognizes that for many military service members, the process of coming home can be more difficult than being away, as families have to manage joining a new community, creating a new identity and finding a new career all at once.
Additionally, Armstrong says that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy and job market has only heightened these difficulties. Therefore, Armstrong argues, it is more important than ever for the government to partner with the private, social and public sectors in supporting the military-to-civilian transition.
When service members return home, they must participate in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a week-long course where they learn about their new Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and how to find a job. While beneficial, Armstrong says that there needs to be more support for service members than TAP. “We need to consider this fact: even a perfectly designed and implemented TAP will still be insufficient to fully support a successful military-to-civilian transition,” Armstrong writes.
Armstrong advocates for policymakers to “shift their focus from employment, to employability,” as research has shown it is valuable for veterans to learn skills that continuously support their career growth. He also calls for an investment in programs that extend beyond TAP, such as certification programs that allow veterans to gain credentials for jobs, as these programs have shown to be effective for service members.
While Armstrong recognizes the importance of TAP, he believes that additional programs will greatly help service members in their return home. “The new Congress and administration must make it a priority to expand public-private partnerships with nonprofit organizations that deliver data-driven interventions during and after the service member’s separation,” Armstrong concludes.
To read his essay in its entirety, visit the The Hill.
Syracuse University media relations team members work regularly with the campus community to secure placements of op-eds. Anyone interested in writing an op-ed should first review the University’s op-ed guidelines and email email@example.com.