The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) completed the Veteran Population Projection Model 2016 or VetPop2016 which looked at Veterans from World War II (WWII) through the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) in order to a) identify the number of Veterans in the U.S. and b) project the potential number of Veterans who may be                                                        by the VA to 2045. As reflected in the VetPop2016 chart the largest group of Career education is a process which evolves with our age

                                              and experiences.  As a service member you brought to the military a set of experiences acquired from family, peers, social groups,

                                              community interactions, schools you attended, education and employment experiences, and a wealth of other interactions you

                                              experienced in life.  A significant number of these experiences provided the foundation for your personal or unique skillset composed of

                                              primarily of behavioral and cognitive skills.

                                              VetPop2016 used Census Data in combination with VA data and looked a cut-off of 66 years of age.  Therefore, while these four

                                              Veteran groups remain significant today, with the exception of the Gulf War group remaining fairly stable in numbers, the three

remaining groups will decline in numbers rapidly beginning in 2020.  Only a small number, if any, remaining WW II or Korean War Veterans in 2032, and roughly 3.3 million Vietnam Era Veterans.

As a Veteran, eligible for services and benefits from the VA and oftentimes from your State's Veteran Administration it is key an incumbent on you to a) know or locate and register with your County or Tribal Veteran Service Officer (CVSO or TVSO) or a Veteran Service Officer (VSO) through a Congressionally Chartered or non-congressionally chartered Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) or their respective auxiliaries organizations - click here for a complete listing or contact a Veteran Service Officer within your regional VA office.  Having this knowledge alone will assist you in your career, employment, training, or educational plans.


Knowing about career education is key, especially for a Veteran.  Historically Veterans enter military service learn essential battlefield skills (i.e., basic training and advanced infantry training), move into some type of training which they had requested or showed an aptitude for prior to or immediately following entry into the service, following and develop skills throughout their service, and oftentimes return to their hometown following their military service doing the same type of work they did before service - and if they did not have viable employment prior to service may return to that same path. 


Donald E. Super's (1950) career development theory is applicable to military service training, especially initial

exploration and converting a vocational goal into implementing the goal i.e., completing training and working

in the military service occupation - in this case a military vocation which could last for a few years to a full

lifelong career.  A Veteran whether one who served for a year or 30 years must make a decision upon removing

him or herself from active service.  Similarly, this theory applies to National Guard and Reserve members.  In

fact, National Guard and Reserve members may have myriad of other career education issues while serving as

well as ending their service.  For example,  National Guard or Reserve members may fall on the spectrum of

having service occupations similar or nearly identical to their civilian careers/occupations to the opposite

where their service occupations have no relationship to their civilian careers/occupations - the latter almost being like living dual occupational lives.

Using Super's career development model, Veterans upon leaving service may be going through their career development process again.  So as someone who went through exploration to establish a military career, then maintaining that career, starting another career development and decision making process before transitioning or following service seems redundant - "I should be old enough to make a good career decision following my military service."  No one is saying anything about Veterans' decision making processes; however, Veterans must keep in mind that their job in the military required "military" training, job skills with "battlefield" readiness, and the "ability to take orders" following a very defined chain of command.  Civilian occupations, for the most part, do not require a "battlefield" mindset, rather a greater sense of the career and differing methodologies to reach occupational goals.

Transitioning service members and Veterans may need to once again go through these stages upon reentering civilian life, if for no other reason to assess their service experiences, changing from a battlefield mindset to a civilian mindset, and military life style to civilian life style.  While Super's five career development stages are tied to chronological age groupings his concepts apply developmentally and with respect to adults transitioning from military service to civilian life the stages are key and are provided with brief explanation:

  • Growth: ...becoming concerned about the future, convincing oneself to achieve, acquiring competent work habits.
  • Exploration: ...crystallization of a career preference, a firm vocational goal, complete training or translate training into an occupation.
  • Establishment: ...securing occupation, consolidation (i.e., making yourself stronger and more valuable), advancement to new levels of responsibility.
  • Maintenance: ...continual adjustment, holding on, keeping up, innovating, and finding new challenges.
  • Disengagement: ...the period of transition out of the workforce - deceleration, retirement planning, retirement living.

The Department of Defense (DoD) offers the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) which provides information, tools, and training to ensure Service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life whether pursuing additional education, finding a job in the

public or private sector, or starting their own business. For additional information you can click on TAP.  In addition

to TAP offered through DoD, The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) offers services to Veterans and their families

through the VETS or Veterans' Employment and Training Service.

  1. Veterans who served after 9/11
  2. Veterans who served before 9/11

Assist in aiding service members successfully transition from service to society.

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Additionally, Veterans have a wealth of employment resources available to them from their State and County or Tribal Veteran Service Officer (Wisconsin CVSO or TVSO), Veteran Service Officers, VA or state sponsored Veteran Affairs programs, a Chartered or non-Chartered Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), One Stop Career Centers.  Often overlooked are the employment or re-employment services Veterans can access at their local Career One Stop Center Veteran and Military Transition Centers, Job Service Office or Workforce Development Centers.  In addition to physical locations Veterans have access to a wealth of online services such as:

Assisting Veterans from Service to Society!

Since 1998

 Career Education

Veterans are a unique group of individuals who have unique skill sets and experiences.  As Veterans transition

from military services their occupational training in the service may directly translate to civilian occupations;

however, because of the unique nature or the specificity of the job in the military the skills you have acquired

will not directly translate to civilian occupations.  This is especially true for both pre- and post- 9/11 Veterans. 

To learn more click on the whether you served after 9/11 or before 9/11.

service to society: