Cover: What Veterans Bring to Civilian Workplaces

What Veterans Bring to Civilian Workplaces

A Prototype Toolkit for Helping Veterans Communicate to Private-Sector Employers About the Nontechnical Skills Developed in the Military

Published Dec 4, 2017

by Tracy C. Krueger, Michael G. Shanley, Chaitra M. Hardison, Anna Rosefsky Saavedra, Angela Clague, James C. Crowley, Jaclyn Martin, Jonathan P. Wong, Paul S. Steinberg

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Veterans have a great deal to offer to potential civilian employers, including valuable nontechnical skills, such as leadership, decisionmaking, being dependable, and attention to detail. However, for veterans, communicating with civilian employers about the nontechnical skills they have developed in the military can be challenging, because military and civilian workplace cultures and languages can seem radically different from one another.

This prototype toolkit is intended to help veterans communicate about the full value they can bring to civilian workplaces. It focuses on the nontechnical skills addressed through selected formal military training and education courses and on-the-job experiences that are typical of enlisted combat arms jobs in the Army and Marine Corps. The toolkit begins with a letter that can be sent to veterans, explaining the purpose of the other materials enclosed in the packet. The material following the letter is organized into three parts: (1) an introductory section that provides more information on the materials and how to use them; (2) descriptions of the specific formal courses selected, discussion of the nontechnical skills addressed in each course, and quick-access summary tables for all courses listing the top skills and competencies addressed; and (3) vignettes that illustrate on-the-job experiences relating to the nontechnical skills that are typical in a select set of combat arms occupations, as well as quick-access summary tables showing the criticality of each skill for performance in those jobs.

This research was sponsored by the Transition to Veterans Program Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. It was conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND tool series. RAND tools may include models, databases, calculators, computer code, GIS mapping tools, practitioner guidelines, web applications, and various toolkits. All RAND tools undergo rigorous peer review to ensure both high data standards and appropriate methodology in keeping with RAND's commitment to quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.