Think you know vets? Think again.
Contrary to popular belief, many veterans re-enter civilian life without enduring the struggles often reported in the news, according to The 2015 Veterans Civic Health Index. Commissioned by Got Your Six, an organization that works to combat negative stereotypes and empower veterans, the study also finds that veterans tend to be more civically healthy — more likely to volunteer, vote, involve themselves in local politics, belong to community groups and trust their neighbors — than non-veterans.
The report’s findings may have broad implications for vets seeking employment and their prospective employers. After all, it stands to reason that good citizens are likely to make good employees.
Overall, veterans have lower unemployment rates than non-veterans — 5.7 percent compared to 6.1 percent, respectively, revealed by The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report. The unemployment rates of young veterans have steadily decreased for the past 18 months.
What’s more, the same report found that employed veterans under 35 take home 11 percent higher median earnings than their non-veteran peers.
Responding to Jeremy Benders’ recent article in Business Insider, Jon Davis, a retired U.S. Marine sergeant and hiring manager, offered 10 reasons why hiring a vet makes sense for employers. He notes that veterans:
As it turns out, many of the same qualities that make veterans valuable employees, also serve them well as entrepreneurs. Sources including Military.com list a number of positive characteristics that lend themselves to entrepreneurial success. Among them, veterans:
Increasingly, veteran entrepreneurs are putting these strengths to work. Veterans run nearly one in ten small businesses, and the Small Business Association tells us that veterans are 45 percent more likely than non-veterans to be self-employed, according to the U.S. Census. Impressively, veteran-owned businesses employ 5.8 million people and earn $1.2 trillion in receipts.
These statistics are welcome news for U.S. Army veteran, Chris Marvin, managing director of Got Your Six. As Marvin recently told the Washington Post, "It’s important for all of us to provide counterpoints to the misconceptions we have been told [about veterans] for years and years … We want people to know that we are not a population that requires services. But a population that has services to offer."