Veterans Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access veterans research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • A U.S. Air Force airman sits with his head in his hands, an arm from offscreen reaches to put a hand on his shoulder, photo by Nadine Barclay, TSgt/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Are a Vicious Cycle for Veterans

    Sep 15, 2020

    It is not uncommon to see a co-occurrence of PTSD and heavy use of substances, which can rise to the level of a substance use disorder. It may be necessary to challenge how the needs of veterans are addressed to remove barriers to care that make treating these co-occurring disorders simultaneously so difficult.

  • Veterans talk in a group therapy session, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Veterans with Both Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders Need Integrated Treatment

    Jul 22, 2020

    Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders are common among post-9/11 veterans. But treatment programs typically specialize in one issue or the other. Integrated treatments are more effective and have become more available, but it's critical that veterans have access to facilities that are equipped to treat them.

  • U.S. Army Pfc. Shawn Williams of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, gives the thumbs-up to members of his unit as he is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb, Friday, June 17, 2011, in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.U.S. Army Pfc. Shawn Williams of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, gives the thumbs-up to members of his unit as he is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb, Friday, June 17, 2011, in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, photo by Lt.j.g. Haraz Ghanbari/U.S. Army

    Report

    Limb Salvage and Recovery After Severe Blast Injury

    Jul 6, 2020

    Although there is a vast literature on limb salvage, there is limited research on military blast-related limb salvage. What can be learned from the evidence and innovations about restoration and reconstruction after limb salvage for severe blast-related limb injury?

  • Howard and Jean Somers hold a photo of their son, Daniel, who died by suicide in June 2013, photo by Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune via Zuma Wire

    Essay

    More Can Be Done to Save Veterans from Suicide

    Nov 4, 2019

    A decade of research at RAND has sought to focus the national conversation about suicide in general, and veteran suicide in particular, around solutions that work. The overwhelming message: We could do more to save the lives of veterans like Daniel Somers. Here is his story.

  • Billboard that reads, "Welcome Home SGT KURT POWER" and illustration of mental health issues

    Article

    How High-Quality Mental Health Care Improves Veterans' Lives

    Sep 25, 2019

    A growing body of RAND research shows that veterans who receive high-quality care have the best chance of improving their mental health outcomes.

More Research on Veterans

Briefings

  • Service members involved in physical therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio wait for President Bush to visit

    Meeting the Health Care Needs of America's Veterans

    Feb 18, 2016

    A team of RAND experts conducted three independent assessments of the Veterans Choice Act (enacted in 2014). Researchers explored the health needs of veterans, the VA's capacity to deliver care, and steps policymakers can take toward the goal of providing high-quality, timely, and accessible health care for veterans.

  • soldier and caregiver

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    May 15, 2014

    Military caregivers play an essential role in caring for injured or wounded service members and veterans. Terri Tanielian and Rajeev Ramchand will present the challenges today's military caregivers face, and what Congress and others can do to support them.

  • VA Mental Health Care: How Good Is It and How Can We Make It Better?

    Dec 1, 2011

    In this December 2011 Congressional Briefing, Katherine Watkins discusses highlights and recommendations from her study on the VA's capacity to deliver care to veterans with mental health and substance use disorders and the quality of the care that is delivered.

  • The War Within: Preventing Suicide in the U.S. Military

    May 10, 2011

    RAND researchers will discuss findings and recommendations from their recent study on the growing rate of military suicides, including who is at risk for suicide and what the Department of Defense is doing to prevent it.

  • Diversity of Service Academy Entrants and Graduates

    Jun 23, 2010

    Sheila Nataraj Kirby will present findings from an assessment of U.S. Department of Defense recruiting efforts, admissions policies, graduation rates, and career success rates with respect to the diversity of service academy entrants and graduates, with remarks by Rep. Elijah Cummings and the Honorable Madeleine Bordallo.

More Veterans Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends email alerts to update Congress on highlights of recent work concerning veterans.

  • Veterans talk in a group therapy session, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Improving Treatment for Post-9/11 Veterans with Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders

    Jul 23, 2020

    Veterans who have served in the military since September 11, 2001, are at particularly high risk for co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental health disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. According to a new RAND report, veterans with co-occurring mental health and SUDs require evidence-based treatment for both types of disorders.

  • In Case You Missed It: How to Reduce Suicide Among U.S. Veterans and Service Members

    Jun 3, 2019

    The rate at which veterans and service members die by suicide is a national security problem that requires a comprehensive approach. RAND's Terri Tanielian outlines six priorities for addressing the challenge of suicide.

  • A veteran talks to a counselor

    Are NY Health Care Providers Prepared to Meet the Needs of Veterans?

    May 1, 2018

    Are private health care providers in New York equipped to offer timely access to high-quality care that meets the needs of veterans? A new RAND study surveyed providers to better understand the state of overall provider readiness for the veteran population.

  • Sgt. John Kriesel receives treatment from a therapist while his wife, Katie, comforts him at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, February 9, 2007

    In Case You Missed It: Creating Better Support for Our Nation's Hidden Heroes

    Jun 28, 2017

    RAND conducted the first-ever study on the roles and risks of military and veteran caregivers in 2014. Now, a new research blueprint provides policymakers with an understanding of where more research is needed to improve the lives of these caregivers.

  • Distressed soldier with counselor

    In Case You Missed It: Preventing Veteran Suicide

    May 19, 2017

    Suicide is a public health threat that affects all demographics, but recently attention has been focused on the risk of suicide among veterans. Preventative measures could include strengthening community-based programs for those who do not receive care at the VA.

  • Stethoscope on an American flag

    Health Care Issues in the 115th Congress

    Mar 24, 2017

    RAND research examines a wide range of health care issues important to the 115th Congress: the Affordable Care Act and potential policy alternatives, health care delivery approaches, public health issues, drug policy, and veterans' health care issues.

  • The Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

    2016 Hill Highlights

    Dec 15, 2016

    In 2016, RAND experts conducted briefings on Capitol Hill, provided testimonies before congressional committees, hosted workshops, and published reports on some of the nation's most pressing issues, including health care for veterans, autonomous vehicles, NATO military posture, and cyber policy.

  • Capt. Elrico Hernandez, battalion physician assistant for 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, discusses a training scenario as part of a primary care behavioral health seminar.

    Can the Civilian Mental Health Workforce Meet the Needs of the Veteran Population?

    Nov 12, 2014

    The current state of readiness among civilian behavioral health providers to deliver care to veterans and their families has gaps in several areas. Improvements in workforce assessments, training, and facilitation will help to ensure that high quality care is delivered.

  • Veterans and employers marching in parade to promote 100,000 Jobs Mission

    RAND Study: Veteran Employment Valued, But Challenges Still Need to be Addressed

    Nov 10, 2014

    Businesses report that U.S. military veterans make excellent employees, but companies still experience challenges locating and hiring them according to a new RAND Corporation report

  • Woman hugging soldier

    RAND Researchers Identify Gaps in Support for America's Military Caregivers

    Apr 1, 2014

    RAND released a new report, “Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers” that sheds light on the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States and identifies gaps in the array of programs, policies, and initiatives designed to support military caregivers.

  • RAND.org's Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices

    Mar 20, 2014

    RAND.org has been reimagined to make high quality research and insights more accessible to Hill staff like you. The new homepage and updated navigation optimize content delivery for your preferred device and place our most timely content at your fingertips.

  • Sergeant therapeutically paints through PTSD healing process

    June 27 Is PTSD Awareness Day

    Jun 24, 2013

    As Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day approaches, policymakers continue to look for ways to best help our nation's servicemembers and veterans with PTSD and other combat related mental health problems. RAND research addresses PTSD and similar issues.

  • A depressed marine

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day

    Jun 21, 2012

    As PTSD Awareness Day approaches on June 27, policymakers continue to look for ways to best help our nation's servicemembers and veterans with PTSD and other combat-related issues. RAND research has documented the prevalence of post-deployment mental health problems among our newest generation of veterans.

  • Improving Disabled Veterans' Employment Prospects Using Tax Credits

    Apr 13, 2012

    Concern regarding the economic problems faced by veterans, particularly those disabled since 9/11, has motivated a range of new federal programs aimed at improving veteran employment, including legislation passed in 2007 which expanded the use of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program to incentivize hiring of disabled veterans.

  • Why Are For-Profit Colleges Appealing to Veterans?

    Mar 8, 2012

    As veterans return home from combat and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, many have turned to for-profit colleges because of the schools' unique ability to meet their needs.

  • State of the Union address January 2011

    Senior Staff SOTU Debrief from RAND Corporation

    Jan 25, 2012

    We've assembled a selection of RAND reports, journal articles, commentary, videos, and experts on these SOTU topics that provide you with analysis, insights, and ideas you can use in the months ahead.


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Testimony

2010 and prior

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