The Transition of Military Veterans from Active Service to Civilian Life

Duel, Jacco and Elands, Martin and Fossey, Matt and Harrison, Kate and Heintz, Ole A. and Lazier, Raun and Lewis, Neil and Maclean, Mary Beth and Truusa, Tiia-Triin (2021) The Transition of Military Veterans from Active Service to Civilian Life. Technical Report. NATO Science and Technology Organization.

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In every nation within NATO, service members at some point leave the military. The military-to-civilian transition is the term used to refer to the process by which service members and/or their families rejoin their civilian community. Transition out of the military includes a series of adjustments. These include changes in location, career, relationships, family roles, support systems, social networks, community and culture. This transition has implications for post-service well-being and functioning. Despite this little has been done to conceptualize how transition occurs, identify factors that promote or impede transition, or operationalize outcomes associated with transition success. Many veterans transitioning from the military to the civilian life encounter unexpected challenges such as finding meaningful employment, adjusting to "civilian" culture or dealing with unresolved mental and physical health issues. Recognizing that each nation is different, the essential considerations for every nation developing a military-to-civilian transition programme include the establishment of following: • A transition framework that captures the key phases of transition; • A definition of veteran; • Focus on work disability prevention; • Measuring outcomes: Successes and failures; • Timely and appropriate engagement; • Address unique health and social care needs; • Culture, recognition, and military-to-civilian transition; • Involvement of families in transition; and • Provide employment assistance. These nine essential components are intended to provide a military-to-civilian transition framework for nations developing or enhancing the services and support they provide to service members returning to civilian life. If each component is addressed, we believe that every service member and their family will have the best chance for success in their transition. After all, serving one’s nation by performing military service is one of the highest acts of service an individual can perform. Those who have done so deserve all that their nation can do to ensure the success of their and their families’ reintegration into civilian life. In addition to developing this NATO technical report, which summarizes the existing national policies of nations that participated in this Research and Technology Group (RTG) and presents the findings of a survey of national policies and practices of NATO and non-NATO nations, this RTG also developed an edited book that details the major issues that all nations should consider to enhance and facilitate the transition of their nation’s service members and families back to civilian life

Item Type: Research Report or Working Paper (Technical Report)
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2021 09:40
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2021 15:58

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