Hiring managers are often excited about hiring a veteran. They know they will be adding a hard-working, loyal team member to their company. However, as more and more veterans return as join or rejoin the workforce, we must dispel the misconceptions people have about them.
All Veterans have PTSD
According to the VA, one in five service members returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan have symptoms of PTSD. This is only 20%. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will suffer from PTSD, in fact, most service members recover fully after experiencing their traumatic events. In the U.S. motor vehicle accidents are by the far the leading cause of PTSD, not trauma faced in war.
All Veterans saw combat
The Department of Defense shows that less than 20 percent of service members serve in frontline combat roles. This goes hand in hand with the misconception that all veterans have PTSD. 80% of our service members do not see any front-line combat at all, creating even less of a reason for them to suffer from PTSD. While all military jobs are focused on the mission, they are not all combat jobs. The military has cooks, dentists, doctors, mechanics and personnel managers.
All Veterans are overly aggressive
Movies and TV shows constantly portray military members as being overly aggressive – yelling orders and sometimes obscenities into subordinate’s faces. The reality is that while military service is very stressful, these qualities of aggression don’t usually follow the veteran home. Military.com says that many veterans have learned to successfully compartmentalize their military work from their civilian career, recognizing the need to be collaborative, patient, and empathetic with their civilian counterparts.
All Veterans want to be in Leadership Roles
While a veteran may have been in a leadership role while in the military, this does not mean he or she wants the same from their civilian job. In fact, many long-serving veterans prefer to take on a job with less stress, leadership and visibility than the one they had in the military.
It is important that we allow veterans to reintegrate to daily life upon their return from service. By believing and perpetuating misconceptions about them, we are only hurting their chances. It is important to remember that not every single veteran saw combat and has PTSD. It is also important for employers to recognize that veterans are able to drop their aggression and take on a non-leadership role.