Veterans For Peace

Technical Training

Very few of the 800+ military specialties have any equivalence in industry.  Which specialty you wind up in is at the needs of the respective service (Ref. the Enlistment Contract) and how you score on the ASVAB for a particular specialty.  Even high ASVAB scores and written “guarantees” on your contract yield to the “needs of the service,” and that is VERY subjective and heavily dependent on local commanders who have their own “turf to protect.”

Why did then Secretary of Defense Cheney (a known “draft dodger” in his own time) state that the military is “not a jobs program,” but exists to prepare to “fight and win wars?”

From an SF Chronicle interview of a veteran job placement agency Support the troops? Then hire a veteran found at, Apr 6, ’08:

  • “… (in fact) the military often does not develop skill sets that translate easily into the civilian job market, although the VA survey reported that many veterans have developed valuable technological skills.”
  • “Some vets have trouble adjusting from the military regimen to workplace sensibilities.”
  • “… the price (of successfully fighting to get PTSD treatment) is that this focus has undermined the image of men and women who served their country and (might be) perfectly capable of holding down a good job – but they have to be hired first.” (i.e., get past the PTSD image)
  • “… corporate HR types note the veterans’ box checked off on an online application and see damaged goods. (Disregarding an “ideal” ) service in the military is (generally) seen as a negative, not a plus. Businesses also are afraid that a newly returned vet might be called back into service. A VA survey found a 10-point drop in the percentage of employed recently returned veterans who work for private companies since 1990.”

  • “At this DoD recruitment website, you are supposed to be able to translate your Military Job Code, your MOS / AFSC / Rating or Military Job Title…
  • “… find civilian jobs that are similar to your military occupation (as noted above, sometimes VERY hard to do) their salaries, the civilian training required and their future outlook.”
  • BUT:  This is something you need to try doing BEFORE you enlist, not after you’re already in the service or after you’re discharged!!!

At this website, (again, a DoD recruitment site), you are supposed to be able to list your “Dream Job” as a Civilian Occupation… then look up the “Military Specialty to Match the Career You Want.” HOWEVER, when you do this, be VERY sure that you also look up the requirements for your “Dream Job,” then look up the requirements and description of your “matching” military specialty to compare the two jobs for descriptions and requirements!

Source:  Article by Jeanette Steele, UNION-TRIBUNE, August 12, 2010 at 9:26 p.m., updated August 13, 2010 at12:02 a.m.,

IN SUMMARY, Military training in “trade” specialties, is typically much more narrow than civilian schooling or on-the-job training and observant prospective employers see this as a cost problem in re-training. However, also be aware of potential adverse codes on your DD-214… read through our section on “Discharges.”

=========================== References ===========================

Army medic veterans finding themselves underemployed
By SHARON L. LYNCH, Bloomberg News, Published: September 11, 2012
Medics in training work with patients simulating traumatic injuries at Camp Bullis, Texas, on June 27, 2012. Sharon L. Lynch/Bloomberg

Army Specialist Daniel Hutchinson rides in an ambulance during his year-long tour of duty as a combat medic in Iraq in a photograph made available to the media on Aug. 30, 2012. Saving lives set him up for little more than minimum-wage work back home.

Courtesy of Daniel Hutchinson/Bloomberg
SAN ANTONIO — Army Spc. Daniel Hutchinson once sliced a man's throat to keep him breathing. He knows how to slip a needle between a patient's ribs to re-inflate a lung. He fastened tourniquets on dozens of shredded limbs during 12 months in Iraq.

That didn’t mean much in the civilian job market.

Personal Experience (insert by Don Chapin): My eldest son joined the Army for a 6-year hitch to become a firefighter. At the end of his military contract, he emerged from the Army as a jump-qualified firefighter and medic. The best job he could land was as an ambulance driver, while the civilian-trained medics took care of the medical emergencies in the back of the ambulance. He ended up joining a local city police force, obviously a job relying on his military background rather than his “trade specialty.”

Drone Pilots: The Future Of Aerial Warfare
by Rachel Martin, November 29, 2011,
Unmanned aerial vehicles, like this Predator (shown here in 2009 during training at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev.), make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. Air Force.

To understand how important remotely piloted aircraft are to the U.S. military, consider this: The U.S. Air Force says this year it will train more drone pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined.

And that's changing the nature of aerial warfare — and the pilots who wage it.

Steve, a lieutenant colonel, grew up wanting to be in the Air Force. And that meant one thing: wanting to be a pilot. To him, flying is physical: the pull of gravity, the sounds inside the cockpit.

"You hear those things, you feel those things, and you react to them as you need to," he says. Steve joined the Air Force in 1997 and started out flying F-15s. But he quickly started to see signs that his world was changing. When he was given a chance to fly drones, he took it.

How America’s Broken Service Academies Create a Broken Military
Many of the military’s problems begin with the training of its leaders.
By William J. Astore, August 18, 2015, 11:26 am
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives for a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Thomas Jefferson Hall, West Point’s library and learning center, prominently features two quotations for cadets to mull over. In the first, Jefferson writes George Washington in 1788: “The power of making war often prevents it, and in our case would give efficacy to our desire of peace.” In the second, Jefferson writes Thomas Leiper in 1815: “I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.”

Manufacturers push skills certificate as good jobs go unfilled
By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers, Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Mike Finklang, 19, hopes to start a company making custom prostheses for amputees, utilizing skills he's learned at South Tech High in Sunset Hills, Missouri. | Kevin G. Hall/MCT
WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate remains above 8 percent, and every politician extols the importance of job creation. Yet each month thousands of manufacturing jobs are there for the taking – but companies are unable to hire sufficiently skilled workers.

“Five percent of manufacturing jobs go unfilled every day because we can’t find the skilled workforce,” fretted Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

At any given time, this skills gap represents about 600,000 open jobs. That’s a stark number given how much attention is focused on the high unemployment rate of 8.1 percent and weak monthly job numbers.

Military Hazing Has Got to Stop
By JUDY CHU, Published: August 3, 2012 , Los Angeles

LAST fall, at an outpost in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Danny Chen, a 19-year-old Army private, was singled out for hazing by Sgt. Adam Holcomb and five other soldiers, all of whom were senior in rank to their victim. They believed Danny was a weak soldier, someone who fell asleep on guard duty, who forgot his helmet. So for six weeks, they dispensed “corrective training” that violated Army policy. When he failed to turn off the water pump in the shower, he was dragged across a gravel yard on his back until it bled. They threw rocks at him to simulate artillery. They called him “dragon lady,” “gook” and “chink.”

Finally, Danny could take it no longer. He put the barrel of his rifle to his chin and pulled the trigger. The pain was over.

Military Training Chants
Some of the chants [aka 'cadences' or 'Jody calls'] used in military Army & Marine training
The people doing this 'training' are being paid by the U.S. government -- by your tax dollars!
What job market best utilizes such training?

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
I went down to the market where all the women shop
I pulled out my machete and I begin to chop
I went down to the park where all the children play
I pulled out my machine gun and I begin to spray.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
See the kiddos playin in the playground
Lock and load a .50 CAL round
And as I gently pull back on my trigger
I see their skanky bodies hit the ground
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
What's the spirit of the bayonet?
Kill, kill, kill without mercy!
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
What makes the green grass grow?
Blood! Blood! Blood!
Bright red blood makes the green grass grow!

They’re Looking for a Few Good Men With the Sensitivity to Train Marines
January 03, 1989 | JANE FRITSCH | Times Staff Writer

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Sweating like fat men in a steam bath, the aspiring drill instructors collapsed to the ground, puffing and groaning, unaccustomed to the rigors of a 4-mile trot in full gear through the hilly terrain at Camp Pendleton. A few yards away, some officers fussed over a young sergeant who had virtually swooned about a mile back and had to be carried to the finish in a truck.

In front of the group stood Gunnery Sgt. Jody Huston, superbly fit and maddeningly unaffected by the midday heat and the 60-pound backpack he bore as he set the pace for the run. Huston, 31, inspected the beleaguered men as they swilled water from canteens and peeled off their heavy boots, then he let them in on a secret.

Young vets in new fight: finding a job
By Jeanette Steele, UNION-TRIBUNE
Originally published August 12, 2010 at 9:26 p.m., updated August 13, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

Websites offering employment assistance for veterans: (must be a veteran and sign up for free Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America membership)

Rex James did a tour in Iraq in 2004. Now he can’t get a job at McDonald’s. Really, he applied. He was overqualified. The former Marine wireman, now 27, had to move in with his parents in Fallbrook two months ago. He’d run out of money after being out of work since November.

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