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Veteran Transition: Soldier for Life Gives Overview of Fort Carson's Events

September 16, 2016 5 minute Read
Col. Adam Rocke, Director of Soldier for Life

This week, the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative and the United Service Organizations (USO) to host an event that highlighted the resources and careers available to transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses.  As we dive into this important issue, the Bush Institute is publishing a series examining the important role that employers and non-profits play in veteran transition and recommendations on how to leverage a veteran's leadership talent.

Today, Col. Adam Rocke of Soldier For Life, gives an overview of this week's events at Fort Carson.  

What an honor I have serving as the director for Soldier for Life, connecting Soldiers for Life with opportunities for employment, education, health and wellness post transition from their very successful and honorable service in the Army.  As part of this process, our partnership with employers, Veteran Service Organizations and nonprofit groups is moving the veteran employment needle in the right direction, with a current 4.2 percent veteran unemployment rate.  This is the lowest it has been in eight years, and transition summits are the highlight of our collaborative efforts with numerous organizations to continue to improve and provide employment options for our soldiers and their families.  Hiring Our Heroes stands shoulder to shoulder with us to enrich our transitioning Soldier for Life population with opportunities for meaningful employment.

The Soldier for Life Transition Summit on Wednesday hosted by the 4th Infantry Division and the Fort Carson Community featuring the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, as the guest speaker is the pinnacle of what we do in Soldier for Life.  This event was part of a two-day Hiring Our Heroes Fair for over 1,000 transitioning soldiers hosted by United Service Organizations (USO), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and President Bush’s first visit to Fort Carson since leaving office.

Before the event, President Bush spent time meeting with 25 transitioning Soldiers and their families at the USO Mobile Site.  Inside the Special Events Center (SEC), over 1,000 Soldiers and corporate leaders welcomed the former President.  Col. CD Donahue, 4th ID Deputy Commander, made opening remarks followed by Lt. Gen. James McConville, Army G1, who spoke on the importance of hiring our soldiers and veterans.  Retired Gen. John Campbell introduced eight transitioning soldiers and highlighted the support that the USO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce has done for our soldiers for employment, detailing how every transitioning soldier, through their own merit, skills and dedication, earned their position.  When soldiers return to those communities full time, they bring with them attributes gained through Army service that make them great leaders, professionals and invaluable team members in any organization.

President Bush focused his remarks on being a Soldier for Life and encouraged transitioning soldiers to find their passion. He talked about his own passion for painting and helping our veterans through the Bush Institute.  The Bush Institute is committed to helping service members transition.  A new initiative launched this year is directed at helping those with the invisible wounds of war, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other mental health injuries, seek and receive comprehensive care and reduce the stigma associated with these wounds.  The Bush Institute has also partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Federal agencies, private business and nonprofits to develop the Veteran Employment Transition Roadmap to assist our soldiers in transitioning and succeeding in the civilian workforce.  A digital version of the Roadmap will be released later this year.  

The Bush Institute has been instrumental in ensuring our veterans strengthen the prosperity of our Nation through rewarding and meaningful civilian careers and comprehensive healthcare, and the strong partnership between the Bush Institute, the USO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the driving success behind the Soldier for Life Transition Summit.  Following the remarks, donors, corporate partners and community leaders participated in a luncheon where President Bush made opening remarks followed by two panels chaired by Dr. JD Crouch, CEO of USO.

Every month, over 500 Soldiers transitioned out of the Army from Fort Carson.  These soldiers are resilient and fit leaders of character committed to a lifetime of service to the Army and our Nation.  The emphasis of Hiring our Heroes, our Soldiers for Life, remains ever so important, and this Transition Summit at Fort Carson has made its impact.

 

Up Next:

Veteran Transition: Hearing from a Vet on September 15, 2016