After more than a decade of war, thousands of military veterans, men and women who defended their countries, are returning to civilian life. The UK plans to reduce active-duty personnel by 100,000 over just a couple of years. The U.S. population of veterans also will rise through planned force reductions. These men and women leave the military with technical skills, maturity and self-discipline. Many are experienced leaders. They have learned how to plan, perform under pressure and respond swiftly to unforeseen problems. They also know how to work in diverse groups and settings to accomplish tasks on time, qualities that make them stellar employees. What can governments and businesses do to smooth veterans' transition to civilian life and capitalize on the value they bring to the workforce? Are veteran support networks adequate for the task? And what can be done to eliminate negative stereotypes that often shadow military veterans after their service ends.
Former Commander in Chief, Land Forces, United Kingdom; Senior Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Chairman and Founder, Spitzberg Partners LLC; Former Minister of Defense and Former Minister of Economics and Technology, Germany