Military Transition & Veterans - 1
I served our nation in the United States Army for over 22 years with four deployments (3x Iraq and 1x Kuwait) along with living overseas on two separate tours. I have also spent many years in Veteran's organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Warrior Point, Student Veterans of America, and National VetSAR to name a few. I understand as a leader and being in leadership roles in all of these domains the importance of having the knowledge and support system in place for our Servicemembers to have available to us when we prepare to make that transition from the service back to civilian life.
Transition from military service can be very difficult and overwhelming. That is why I will be proposing three pieces of legislation to improve and enhance the transition assistance program and introduce changes in the way the Enlisted education and opportunities are currently structured. I firmly believe - as I have witnessed personally with the thousands of servicemembers I have served with that these programs will prove to be more than beneficial but, will be life savers.
1.) Affording Enlisted personnel educational opportunities equivalent to their Officer counterparts. What does this mean? While most Senior Enlisted (E7-E9) are afforded the opportunity to attend courses comparable to their rank and job criterion, there still lacks tactical, operational, and strategic stratagems that are more tailored to and for the Officer’s courses applicable to the asymmetric battlefield. The idea that NCOs should be Soldiers and technical driven has been the biggest reason for this gap of knowledge. Officers would benefit greatly with having an NCO that understands and can speak to the same level and language, all the while maintaining their technical proficiency and Soldier management skill sets. Current Enlisted military personnel serving should be given the same military and civilian educational opportunities as their Officer counterparts as they progress through their career to keep them competitive and on the same accord and readiness for the ever growing and changing environments they face. The benefits? Enlisted members and Officers of the armed forces will still maintain their traditional roles on the battlefield and in garrison; however, they will be able to communicate and articulate the needs of the mission much better. And Officers (Commanders) will have increased confidence in the Enlisted members that they understand the mission and can execute without handheld guidance and supervision; freeing up the Commander to focus on other areas.