Veterans, PTSD, and Hiring

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jcleppe, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    To start off I am not trying to debate PTSD, how or why it happens, or in what level it exists, nor am I referring to any one incident. My intent here is not to start an argument or a debate. I am just using it as a reference to what I have begun to see as a side effect.

    I live in Washington State, the Seattle area. The news media for some time here has been very involved in the PTSD debate. With several current events that have happened here as well as the Sgt. Bales case, since he was based at JBLM, PTSD had dominated the news. Add to all this the Senate investigation into Madigan Hospital over reversal of many PTSD diagnosis, the stories have been on the front page almost everyday.

    The stories are about either current soldiers or prior service soldiers. Recently a prior service soldier shot 4 people at a New Years Eve party and killed a Park Ranger the next day. The press emphasized his one deployment and the possibility of PTSD. After further, but much smaller articals it became apparent this person had problems way outside the military service. His deployment was in a non combat MOS.

    There have been other stories involving everything from domestic disturbance, domestic abuse, and even theft that all seem to highight PTSD.

    Now with the Sgt. Bales case PTSD associated with deployments is dominating the news.

    I only used these cases as an example to what I see becomming a trend. As a business owner I am involved in networking with many other business owners. I often bring up the merits of hiring Veterans. The last opportunity I had to speak with other business owners I started to hear things that made me concerned. Because of the stories lately and the focus on deployment and PTSD, many of the employers I spoke with were starting to shy away from hiring veterans. Some employers have actually stated that when interviewing a possible employee who happens to be a veteran they are starting to ask them if they have been deployed and how many deployments. Some have admitted that they lean toward not hiring vets that have had multiple deployments out of a fear they will somehow snap and that they must have PTSD, "The news media said so, right?" is their comment.

    I know this borderlines on discrimination and I have told them as much, there answer is that they don't make it part of the application, they just bring it up when discussing the applicants military service.

    I fear that the high rate of unemployment among veterans will only go higher due to a precieived fear some employers have over hiring vets who have been deployed. The comments I hear sometimes are based more out of ingorance and fear then the facts.

    I have read articals quoting senior officers sharing the same concern, that instead of a public feeling grateful for a veteran's service they are feeling pity for what they go through, and that they are somehow broken.

    This new case with Sgt Bales will drag on in the media for a long time and will continue the perception that every soldier that deploys will somehow be damaged. A lot of the employers I have spoke with are beginning to feel this way. I try and educate them the best I can but it is beginning to be an uphill battle.

    So I guess I am asking, those that are current veterans have you been finding this to be true. Employers have you seen this in your business community. I see this becoming a bigger problem as more soldiers leave the service, I hope we can find a way to avoid it.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Took me 6 months to find a job after I got out. I don't know if they thought I was broken (I wasn't), but the worst offender of all, in my experience, has been the U.S. federal government.
     
  3. Navy1981

    Navy1981 Member

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    No trouble getting a job in my case. Interviewed for and was offered two jobs. The job I accepted was willing to hold it for 2.5 months while I went back to Okinawa to pack up the house and finish my retirement processing.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    That's great, when did you get out.

    Most of the concern I have heard was for the Army and Marines and their deployments. Nobody seemed to have a big concern for the Navy, Coast Guard, and even the Air Force when it came to deployments, not that these services do not have their own stress levels to deal with. I'm an old Coastie myself.
     
  5. Navy1981

    Navy1981 Member

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    I interviewed for the position last September and didn't start until after Thanksgiving. Been on the job for a little less than 4 months so far. Until my last few years of service, I did my deployments like any other sailor; onboard ship. Did the Individual Augmentee deployment via the Army in 2008-2009 and finished up in Okinawa with the Marines.
     
  6. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I've been wondering about the employment outcomes differences between for Enlisted and Officers. Been reading a lot of articles lately showing the disparity between ex-military and civilian unemployment rates, ex-military coming out on the short end. They don't seem to differentiate between enlisted and officer unemployment rates and seem to focus in on "younger" folks having problems getting jobs. This would imply enlisted more than officer issues, but I'd be curious to find actual numbers.

    And the statistics could be warped by the percentage of ex-military who have PTSD or other issues between enlisted and officer as well. Either the numbers aren't available or I don't think the popular press deems the general public worthy of further insight into the numbers.

    TPG - good to hear that things are going well in your newest assignment.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Another thing we're going to see, and I've experienced....

    Veteran's preference, as far as federal employment is concerned doesn't mean what it used too. We're flooding the jobless population with large numbers of veterans (and this is only going to increase). A good number of them are 10-point vets. Means if you're a 5-point vet, kiss it good bye.

    I applied for a position in an office that I worked with (not for). I didn't get an interview because they were on a "rule of 3" or something... basically, they get three qualified (mind you, not best or most qualified, just qualified) 10-point vets, then all other applications are thrown out. Not great for that office. Not great for non-10-pointers. Nice for the three 10-point guys who got the nod (and apparently they had 10 apply).
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    In most of the conversations I've had with other employers, their concerns were more with the younger enlisted soldiers and Marines and the number of deployment they had.

    It would be interesting to see the breakdown in the Veteran's unemployment rate between enlisted and officer. I would imagine that a lot has to do with the job titles each apply for.

    In our area, with JBLM so close, there are a lot of young ex enlisted service members looking for work. The PTSD stories have involved mainly enlisted members, though we just recently had a LTC threaten to blow up the State Capital, and kill his commanding officer. This was first reported as another case of PTSD until the details of a very nasty custody battle came to light.

    Another statistic that isn't examined is the employment rate of those Vets that put in the full 20 plus and retire.

    It has just been my observation that the biggest issue will be the young enlisted with multiple deployments that may be facing a bigger challenge in the civilian workplace, I hope not.

    LITS, What separates the 5 point vet from the 10 point vet, it's been a while since I got out and I went straight to a government agency without an application process....a couple years and I was done with that game.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Anything below 30% disability is a 5-point vet. Anything above is a 10-point vet.
     
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Aaahh...Thank you.
     
  11. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Actually, all you need is a service-connected disability at any level, even a non-compensable one, and you get 10 points. That, or a Purple Heart.

    There are still preference groups, however, if the agency doesn't use points in hiring. Thus, even though all SC vets get 10 points for some jobs, the 30% or greater vet is in the highest preference group if the agency doesn't use the numerical system. The link explains it.

    http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    My project lead and I just finished a report for the Wounded Warrior Project that should be published in a few months. We looked at their population (which is more wounded than the typical wounded vets) and did some statistical cross tabs on them. We found officers, especially junior officers, getting out had very low unemployment rates. The junior enlisted had very high rates of unemployment. This isn't terribly surprising, but we do have numbers for that set of wounded vets on employment levels. The more senior ranking (especially as officers), the better they were doing on employment after being discharged.
     
  13. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Thanks, guys. As I suspected.

    It seems strange that for so many years, the armed forces stressed in their commercials how many skills one could acquire while serving, yet the young vets coming out either aren't getting those skills (hard to do under the current deployment patterns) or have other issues that are keeping them from getting that job offer.

    I wonder if under more "normal" (not what we've been experiencing lately) circumstances whether this will correct itself or is 3-6 years just not enough to get these kids the resume they need to move forward in the civilian world. Are these kids aware that they haven't gotten enough on their resume, or are they just overwhelmed with their experience (PTSD?) and just heading out the door without regard to the outside prospects?

    Can we fix the situation (short of a change in our strategy in the middle east) to where these kids aren't being set up to come up short?

    It is interesting though to hear the junior officers (O2 - O3) are not suffering the same fate employment wise. I would assume here that most of them are pulling similar deployment schedules to their enlisted subordinates, yet are leaving the military with fewer outside employment issues. Any thoughts here?
     
  14. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Its that college degree for one. And two, most employers assume an officer has leadership experience. But I should add the sample size on JOs is much smaller than JEs and we are talking WWP people as well. We only see the data from the yearly survey cohorts, no interviews or anecdotal evidence available. It's a tiny project for us. While a typical research team is over a dozen people, it was only two of us. Since I'm cheap help, I was perfect for the data analysis lol.
     

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